Light, Rocks, & Other Stuff

Don’t mind me if I state the obvious, but without light there would be no photography. On occasions I would photograph light for light’s sake. A subject in and of itself.  Still, to photograph light we need some sort of subject to hold or at least reflect that light. A calm lake maybe?  In fact, even to photograph the color of light, we at least need a sky.

So light is ever so important in image making, and it can be the center piece of a photo, but we still need something as a vehicle for it or something to be transformed within it.

One of my favorite subjects to photograph was always rock or rocks. Rocks you say?  Yes! Especially in dramatic light. One of the things that can make light dramatic beyond its color or its intensity, is shadows. Shadows of course are a lessoning of light or even the absence of light. Pitting light and shadows side by side, can make for drama. The shadows can be featureless and pure black, or they can hold some light, but far less than the highlights.

The Black Canyon of The Gunnison in Colorado was always a favorite locale for me to capture pretty light, illuminated rock, and shadows all in one scene. There’s nothing wrong with a little natural drama.

I know lot’s of photographers who will not tolerate anything except basic non early or late sun, or overcast in their wildlife images. To me, they are the same as any subject. If they have a warm tone, or a bluish cast by sunlight or sky, then that is their color at that moment.

Below is a preening Barn Swallow in what is some beautiful light in the early morning hours.

As if they have been lit by the director of a movie, the natural morning sun “gleams” in the eyes of this Whitetail doe and her fawn.

There was no electronic flash used to create that dramatic shadow in this dragonfly photo. Shafts of sun were streaming through the trees and that created the drama as it mimicked my little friend.

The light was slightly less dramatic but nice none the less when I photographed the male Eastern Bluebird and then male Northern Shoveler Duck below. A pose can be worth a lot in a wildlife image and I am sure I thanked both of these fellows for doing so very nicely. 

Flowers are naturally photogenic and they can be beautiful or at least interesting when photographed under a variety of sorts of light.

This first image of whatever kind of flower this is, appears to me to be in light I would call “high bright”. A very light cloud cover.

Of course flowers make a most beautiful foreground for things like mountains. I actually remember making this Colorado image as if it were today. That sort of recollection is getting rarer and rarer for me.

Wood or rock? Well, this is actually fossilized or petrified wood. The location is northern Arizona.

So the question is, is it  a million years old, a billion, a trillion, a zillion?  Well actually when I made this image, it was about twenty five, yes twenty five years old. The weather and atmospheric conditions in that location have been known to fossilize wood in 10 years. Honest science that is made for our edification rather than indoctrination, is a beautiful thing.

It is in fact still winter, at least where I live, so let’s close with a simple scene of a small woodland on a quiet winter’s day.

Peace be with you and may God Bless,

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