Appreciating the Quality of Light
Last week, friend Mike Duffy and I went for a walk in Centennial Park with our cameras. We thought we would make a few images before stopping for a Friday morning cup of coffee.
As we approached the waterfall, we noticed the back-lit spray was silhouetting the foreground vegetation and boulders. We each set up our tripods and went to work.
I chose my composition carefully, using the tree trunk on the right and the two boulders on the bottom to frame the morning mist.
It was a ‘feel good’ image to make. The back-lighting provided contrast which dramatically revealed the foreground lines and shapes.
Later in the week, I returned to the park, but this time in the afternoon. The light was different. No longer was the spray from the waterfall back-lit. At first, I felt a little disappointed, but then I noticed the afternoon light was illuminating the lichen hanging from the tree branches. Concentrating on the tree this time, I made an entirely different image.
Light creates all the elements of every composition. As photographers, we must realize that the sensor in our camera only recognizes and records light values. We as the creators of imagery must be aware of these light values and arrange them in a meaningful way.