Friday, 23 May 2014


It's drizzling outside. The beautiful bright happy light of the last couple of days has disappeared again and it's replaced, with soft gentle quiet light. Shhhhhh....
My book arrived!!! And I'm devouring it! Some bits I've been able to skim, but even the stuff I know is written about in such a clear yet sensitive way, that it's like learning it all anew. At the moment I'm reading about light, and how every type of light has something different to offer. There is no such thing as "bad" light. Coming from Johannesburg, where the light is generally so strong, this is a gentle reminder to me to keep looking for that literal silver lining, which she says you only really find on dark rainy days.
Photography is really all about capturing light. The light you choose sends the most subtle messages across to your viewer. Generally they don't even notice it. It's like an added secret language you use. You can have the most amazing image, but if the lighting is wrong it's all just wrong (and it can't be fixed in photoshop). 
This week I was photographing handbags for a small, newly fledged company that sells custom-designed handbags. We only did the straightforward shots on plain white background, but I knew that the way I chose to light the bags would be the essence that would tell you about the quality - subtle and not simple at all.
Other times light is not subtle. This image is ALL about light, you can feel it all around her, flooding the picture with warmth.

So today I thought I'd just remind you to look out for light. Even on the gloomy days, see how it lingers delicately on the edge of your coffee cup? See how it gently traces over your child's face as they sit at the window? 
When you're choosing an image to photograph, draw, paint, don't forget to ask yourself what is the light saying? If I looked at it from a different angle, how would the light change? Look at the shape of the silhouette, or the highlighted edges... switch off the flash of your camera and see what happens.
See! Enjoy! Play!


Anonymous said...

You light up our lives!

Anonymous said...

Wow! If you ever decide to stop photography, you could always write a book! I can so clearly picture things that you describe. Your excitement shines through your words too! Debbie

Catherine said...

Yes - I think there's a book in you too... these blog posts might be a starting point...

Karené said...

Thank you girls! It's good to know when the words and images reach you. Baby steps, baby steps as someone wisely told me some time ago. ;)