Monday, November 23, 2009

Light 'em up!

November 23, 2009

Here’s a photograph that I took this month. It is a farm a few miles from my door and I had been looking at it for years as I passed by on motorcycle rides, or on photo safaris. It never had that special ‘something’ that made me pull off the road and reach for my camera. But, as I was riding past it this time, the sun was headed for the horizon and there were a few clouds in the distance, and so I did pull off and shoot some images with a small Canon pocket camera.
But, when I loaded them into Photoshop, they just didn’t have the quality that I was seeing as I was standing out there. So, I went back the next day. And, this time I took my DSLR, a tripod and a compliment of filters. I got there in plenty of time to watch the slow transition as the sun sank. Because I was shooting at a right angle to the sun’s path, I knew that a polarizer would have maximum effect. So, that was what I put on the camera and then rotated it until the sky darkened and the clouds ‘popped’. I liked what I was seeing and shot about 30 images as the last rays of light streamed across the field, bathing the farm in warm light.
In fact, I went back again, just the other day, to reassure myself that I couldn’t improve on what I already had. And, I got some more nice images, but nothing hugely better. I like this enough that it will form the basis of a paintng. The painting won’t be exactly what you see here, and I will share it when it is done.
Once again Nature has smiled on my willingness to be her witness. This is a simple farm scene, but—for me—it is utterly transformed by the delicate and fine quality of light that shapes and colors the land and structures. Someone once asked me to define what it is about a particular quality of light that so appeals to me. I told them that it seems somehow ‘poetic’, and even ‘heroic’, but I am thinking that ‘poignant’ also fills the bill. As I look at a scene like this, it takes on a timeless quality, as if it could be anytime, and even anywhere.
So, tell me….am I odd?

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