Today’s subject is a common one of mine, but specifically, this is a continuation of an earlier post.
Light makes the world a place where we can live. It adds and subtracts to how clear the world is to us, but it also colors the world in a variety of different ways. Those ways affect our attitude and mood, just as much as how they help us ascertain the world’s details with our eyes.
Photography is in essence, the capture of light. As a child I was attracted to photography mostly by what was in the photograph (the subject), but long before I picked up my first camera, I noticed that the capture of light, in all its different qualities and quantities, was photography’s biggest asset.
I have always (well since I was three years old) relished the sweet, low light around sunrise/sunset. I can still remember sitting on the living room floor as a child on a warm (no air conditioning) summer’s morning, and watching the sun rise over Lake Michigan through the front screen door. My grandfather was sitting in a chair enjoying that very same scene. I can still remember being on vacation while driving through the southern mountains at sunset and seeing the silhouettes of the peaks. It’s no surprise that when I got my first serious camera, among my first subjects was sunrise/sunset.
Making pictures around the hours of sunrise or sunset can bring a wide variety of luscious light, and that could mean one thing to me, and another to you.
The addition of various software filters that can be added after conception and during the editing process, has made the ending result of a sunrise picture one of even more varied possibilities. While I am not a big fan of too much editing, those who use subtle filters and use them judiciously, do come up with some wonderful images. For many years I was accused (or it was suggested) by other image makers of using lens filters (before digital), altering my images (saturation, color, etc.) to make them more color saturated. The only tricks I used were long color saturating exposures, making use of the color in the opposite direction of the sun, or merely getting up early enough or staying out late enough to catch the color when it was “prime”. I suspect the photographers I am bringing you today, get up early or stay out late, and use good color saturating techniques in the field. I am not saying the editing process is not also employed, only that something close to what you are viewing, is actually what happened.
This first image comes from Marc Adams and was found published in Landscape Photography Magazine. The direction of the sun, provides us with low sidelight that skims portions of the land and adds freshness and color.
Again we’re seeing low angled (early or late) sidelight. This image was made in Australia by Bob Ludwig. The light is from one side and that adds drama to the photo.
This wetland sunrise picture by Alekei Malygin is amazing. There may be a software filter applied here to accomplish that stretched, dreamy look to the foliage, but if it has it was used with some restraint. On initial examination the light source seems to be both over the horizon in the distance, and in back of the photographer to light up the foreground. I say it seems to do that, because when you look closely, the light is only on portions of the land and grasses in the direction that has a relationship to the rising sun. It’s an amazing picture.
The quantity, quality, direction and color of light, not only transforms photos, but it can be the most important element in the photo. It is a subject in and of itself.
I will return to more political commentary in the coming days, weeks and months. Frankly I get angrier every day and I am just trying to cool down a bit before I resume writing on that subject. Better a cool head and a calm demeanor as to keep myself from saying something I shouldn‘t.
Have a great day and may God Bless, Wayne