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. I love this whole post! Light is everything in photography. Lighting can make a moment feel and look different. Love all the photos and quotes!

  2. WOW Tina fascinating shots…..loving all of the different light captures!! Interesting that the color blue is is important to those who study Kabbalah…THANK U for the wonderful education👍

  3. Pingback: November, Gift of Light | SimplySage

  4. I misse this challenge, due to my sight issu Es…would have been right up my street! As ever. You have shown us Somme great images, and your prose gives a great overview of the different kinds of light

  5. I somehow almost missed this stunning post Tina. What a magnificent display of light working its magic. The camel herder image spoke to me and, as you say, midday light is often too harsh, in this case it worked perfectly capturing the harshness and the beauty of a desert and how hard an existence living there must be.

  6. Hi special lady, it must have been amazing travelling this area and photographing its marvels. The sea of Galilee is my favourite capture and I would probably have echoed your sentiment “particularly meaningful and surprisingly beautiful”. But places like Petra is also amazing given the absence of technology. Glad you weren’t there 5 days later!
    By the way I hope you see my post in the reader as I don’t see it despite having un-followed and re-followed myself.

  7. Pingback: Lens-Artist-PC-Magical-Light – WoollyMuses

  8. that Matisse quote was fun and I will remember that there is always “a storyteller behind the lens.”
    And… the shadows (mid day sun) in pic two are my fav (seemed like something a painter would add in) and then then the Sea of Galilee was special to me to – for the history connection but also that moon and the whole vibe!
    loved every photo and nice take on the light theme

  9. Love your photos!
    Petra was just about my favourite place ever – though it is tied with the Grand Canyon in wow factor…
    I took a brief ride on a camel in the Jordan desert. It wasn’t that it fulfilled a life long dream – it was just an experience I knew I would never get a chance to do again!

  10. Your “EVENING LIGHT, MAKHTESH RAMON” photo is superb. You broke some rules by centering the horizon, and then took it to another level by using the walls and roof tops to eliminate a straight line by stepping down the horizon as it crosses the frame. And then you have the distant mountains and desert to come back across the horizon and straighten it out once more. POV is everything and your exposures are spot-on, Tina. This is a Chamber-of-Commerce photo.

  11. What a journey you had/are having, Tina! Thanks for transporting me somewhere so beautiful and so appropriate for a Sunday. I love the last light over Jerusalem shot and the last one at the Sea of Galilee.


  12. And let there be light! Incredible shots, Tina. Your story behind the photos makes the pictures come to life. Glad you missed that flood. My family missed it as well. Sad news. Travel safe.

  13. Wow, Tina. Your photos are as gorgeous as I’d imagined they would be. The light here is amazing. I love the “Bible Society” sign in your capture of the blue awning. How perfect is that! Welcome home, too.

  14. I felt I took some of my best photos ever in Israel and Jordan, and i realized eventually that the soft light there, reflected in ancient stone and sand, gave me quite a boost! You are an amazing photographer in any light, but these are spectacular portrayals of the special hues in that part of the world.

    • I agree 100% about the light there Lex. And both countries were amazing. You know what they say – to take better photos visit more interesting places LOL. Thanks so much for the beautiful compliment.

  15. Wonderful images, Tina. Your lead photo of Petra is gorgeous as is the view of Jerusalem. How classic to see the camel herder. Looks like an amazing trip. A relief you left before the floods!

    • Thanks Jane, it was an amazing journey – especially considering both countries are quite small. The flash flooding is a very frightening aspect of their geology. There were 21 kids killed in a similar flood in Israel while we were there. Fortunately we had only glorious weather during our visit.

  16. I love your narration with the photos – telling us what you were thinking, and then showing it in real photo time, is very powerful.

  17. A beautiful magical light post, Tina! I especially love the capture of the first view of Jerusalem. The light of the Holy Land is extraordinary via your lens.
    Thank you for this special tour.

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