Lens-Artists Challenge #19 – Magical Light

“Light is to the photographer what words are to the writer; color and paint to the painter; wood, metal, stone, or clay to the sculptor.”

Andreas Feinenger


This week Amy has hit the proverbial nail on the head – light, at least to a photographer, is magic. Especially when traveling, it can be difficult to choose the times during which we’ll be able to shoot, but we can always find a way to capitalize on the light that’s available. In my opening image of one of Petra’s amazing rock-carved masterpieces, I was able to capture the soft, late-day light just as the shadows were beginning to creep in.  Note the tiny people in the image to get an idea of the structure’s massive size – which amazingly dates back to 400 BC.  Tragically 11 people were killed when a massive flash flood hit Petra just 5 days after our visit. Thousands of tourists were evacuated and the site is temporarily closed for cleanup – timing, as always, is everything.



“Every photo tells a story, but remember this, there was a storyteller behind the lens.”

Belinda Taylor

On the other hand, in the image above a bedouin camel-herder leads three of his charges in the mid-day sun of Wadi Rum. Notice the shadows of the subjects directly beneath them. In this case, although I’d have preferred softer light, I felt that the subjects carried enough of a message that I was willing to overlook the harsh mid-day conditions. Sometimes the story can be as important as the timing.



“In nature, light creates the color. In a picture, color creates the light.”

Henri Matisse

In the image above, it was the mid-day sun passing through an awning – nearly the exact blue of the sky – that drew my attention. The dome in the background for me added an element of spirituality and mysticism. Perhaps the combination of the elements meant more to me having just learned the importance of the color blue to those who study Kabbalah.



“Photography is being able to grasp those instants which pass with the ticking of a clock, never to be duplicated.”

Edward Weston

One of my favorite moments of our journey was our first view of Jerusalem, seen from high above as the sun made its final gasp before settling below the skyline. There is something quite magical about the city, perhaps driven by her perseverance despite the many times she has been destroyed throughout history. All of the major religions see her as a holy place, and archaeologists from around the world continue to explore the riches that lie beneath her walls. As visitors we cannot help but wonder at the stories she could tell.




“I believe in the photographer’s magic – the ability to stir the soul with light, and shape, and colour.”

Amyn Nasser

In Israel’s Negev Desert, night falls quickly and the cool light of blue hour is softened by the warm hues of the desert rock. Here, a massive crater was formed by the action of the sea rather than by volcano or meteor. Rocks at the crater’s bottom have been dated as old as 200 million years.  25 miles long and over 1600 feet deep, it is an amazing example of nature’s incredible power. 



“To learn the magic of light, get up before sunrise….. and watch.”

Ted Grant

Finally, I’ll close with a capture of sunrise over the Sea of Galilee. I was drawn to the scene in part because the moon still clung to its place in the sky despite a push from the sun to claim it. Having heard so many stories about Galilee growing up a Christian, I found it particularly meaningful and surprisingly beautiful.  


Thanks to Amy for giving us an opportunity to explore the many forms of light – which color our world and enrich our lives. Be sure to visit her original post here, and remember to tag any responding posts with the Lens-Artists tag.


All images captured with Fuji x-T2, 18-55mm








107 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #19 – Magical Light

  1. These photos are amazing, and it’s great to hear the story behind the photos. I will include this post in the interview for a couple of reasons, the story behind Petra and the fact that this is an example of your response to one of the other’s weekly challenge. 🙂 Marsha

    • Thanks Marsha. The post is a good choice also because it is really targeted at photography. It might be interesting to include 4 links all from that week to show how each Of us responded differently to the same subject. Just a thought T

      Sent from my iPhone


      • That’s a great idea. I’m going to let the post sit for the rest of tonight until Ann-Christine is back online tomorrow. Have a great evening, Tina. 🙂

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