In sunlight, all form becomes clear and sharp except for objects receding in the background or distance. Shadows are distinct and reveal to the viewer whether the terrain is flat or hilly. Grass in shadow is an excellent example of this, as it conforms to the contour of the land. In the sketch at right, you will notice a boulder in the path of the tree shadow. Shadows do not go around objects; rather, they follow the contour or shape of the object, in this case a boulder. The shadow goes over the boulder and resumes the shape of the tree as it continues up the grassy slope.
On a cloudy or foggy day, strong light is not present. Shadows and objects are diffused. This loss of light causes little contrast, which keeps subject matter in low key and weak in definition. Colors lose their intensity, and everything is darker in value.
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