In the first of a series of follow-up articles to The Quality of Light, I have posted this article to share a series of photographs (along with the thought processes behind them) that I hope will accentuate the interplay of light, directionality, shadows, and mood in landscape photography. As previously discussed, the directionality of light is a powerful factor in defining the quality of shadows, the contrast, textures, and three-dimensionality of a scene, as well as the mood and emotion that the photograph will convey. In particular, unidirectional light qualities (e.g., side lighting and backlighting) serve this purpose well in landscape photography.
In a follow-up to a previous article, “A Study in Vision, Light, and Shadows”, I decided to share my thoughts and experiences on my most inspiring topic in photography – light. For simplicity, I decided to write about light in a narrow context from the perspective and experience of a landscape photographer, since outdoors scenes are what I gravitate to. Much of the analysis and discussion that follows is equally applicable to other genres of photography, such as portraits, macro, still-life, and commercial photography. In this article, I will cover broadly what quality of light means for me in landscape photography as well as discuss a variety of scenarios where the scenic photographer can use different properties of light to create a given effect. Please note that this discussion is based on my own personal observations and experiences, which may differ from those of other photographers. My goal is to help beginning landscape photographers understand the different qualities of sunlight and how this instrumental tool can be harnessed to fulfill the visualization process.
Have you ever seen a spectacular image and been flabbergasted when you saw that the photographer was an amateur – and they used their phone? Or looked at the website of a pro only to be disappointed by a slew of boring photos? Maybe you know someone who knows everything about photography has has perfect technique, yet still takes lacklustre images. Counterintuitively, being good at photography does not guarantee good photos.
Two months ago, while browsing the web page of an on-line analog photography store in Germany, Fotoimpex, I came across a link to a video entitled, “Silver & Light”, made by a brilliant artist named Ian Ruhter. The video takes the viewer inside the thought process and passion behind one man’s dream to create photographic art using one of the oldest photographic processes ever invented – the wet plate collodion. I found the story tantalizing and inspiring. Given the recent publication from our enthusiastic and talented guest poster, Simone Conti, on a modern-day version of a comparably old photographic process, I thought this video would be of interest to our Readers. Some notable quotes from the video: “If you had been searching your whole life for something you love and you found it, what would you be willing to sacrifice?”, “The only limitations there are, are the ones that I put on myself”, and “I am literally pouring my soul onto every plate.” Please, enjoy.