Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

Breaking Through

“The photographer must be dedicated to the glory, the magic, and the mystery of light.”

Jacque- Henri Lartigue

This week the Lens-Artists team invites you to join us in exploring the magic of light. Sometimes we plan ahead and rise in the early morning hours to capture the sunrise, only to find it obscured by clouds. Other times we await the sunset only to find it less than spectacular. And sometimes, every now and then, we just get lucky and a boring scene becomes magical. Such was the case when clouds and fog rolled in late one afternoon here on Kiawah. Slide the arrows left and right to see the difference the changing light had on the scene above in a matter of a few minutes.

“Light is the shape and play of my thought…my reason for being a photographer.”

Barbara Morgan

When I previously featured the image on the left in an earlier post, a friend asked me why the rock color was different from some of the Petra images she’d previously seen. The image on the right is a visual explanation of the reason. I captured the scene on the left as a shaft of light poured into the canyon, versus the image on the right captured earlier in the day. The quality of light within a scene can often be the most important element of your “equipment”, adding significantly to your final result.

The Sea of Galilee, Israel

“Photography is a litany of light.”

Moses Oliver

While visiting Israel, I worked to capture the Sea of Galilee in some interesting light. On the right, an image I made in the late morning. On the left, the same vista captured just after the sun had dipped below the hills. I was fortunate to see both a marvelous sunset and the appearance of another person appreciating the moment. While the image on the right is just fine, I thought the image on the left did a better job of illustrating the beauty of the scene.

Beach Vista, Kiawah Island

“I am forever chasing light. Light turns the ordinary into the magical.”

Trent Parke

I’ve often included images of Kiawah’s beach, and love chasing the light and its magic there – I rarely shoot during the day unless something else has caught my attention. In the image on the right I was focused on one of our many shrimp boats. Compare the color of the water, the sky and the beach between the two images. For me, the magic of the light at sunset, and somewhat less frequently sunrise, is something of which I can never get enough.

Sunrise, Botany Bay SC

“Light is the stuff which holds a photograph together; it breathes life, passion and emotion into your vision.”

Steve Coleman

Speaking of sunrise, I’ll close with one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. A friend and I had gone out at what she calls “zero dark thirty” aka pre-dawn, to shoot the sun’s rise at Botany Bay. The area had long been a favorite for photographers because of the phantom trees that survive in the ocean waves. Sadly, the beach has since been destroyed by a hurricane but that day it was absolute perfection. I was astounded by the color of the light that morning, nearly spiritual in its portrayal of our beautiful world. Would’t it be nice if we would give it the amount of attention and care it deserves?

Many thanks to Ann-Christine for her fun Feet and Shoes challenge last week. I was amazed to have found so many images that fit the topic, and suspect you were too. There were many smiles as we saw the variety of your responses! This week your challenge is to share images that illustrate the power of light – even better if you also include the same or a similar scene at a different, somewhat less beautiful time. (Hopefully my first attempt at using WP’s “image compare” feature is working correctly.) Remember to link your post to my original, and to use the Lens-Artists Tag to help us find you. Finally, we hope you’ll join us next week as Amy leads us on her Share and Connect post. In the meanwhile, as always please stay safe and be kind.


285 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge #162 – It’s All About the Light

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  8. Hi Tina

    I like your observation about plans for a perfect sunrise to be thwarted. That happened the time I visited Highlands Hammock in Florida to capture misty moody sunrise. This involved camping the night before, getting up well before dawn and achlepping gear to the chosen location, only to have the sun rise straight up into a clear blue sky. Now a cleae blue sky is a glorious thing – but not shen you want moody or misty or ethereal. Wonderful challenge from you, excellent photos.

    Here’s my post with three takes on light with Great Blue Herons

    Beautiful Great Blue Heron Sweet, Tender Moment and Fly-on-the-Wall

    Best, Babsje

    • LOL, I feel your pain on that one Babsje! It’s happened to all of us – we just hope it’s not on a special occasion in a place we may not see again! But at least you have a memory!

      • Yup. Thanks Tina! I “made lemonade” and salvaged the shoot by photographing spider webs. They have some spider on steroids that weaves webs that are 20, 25 feet across. That morning sunlight glinted so photogenically that I couldn’t resist getting flat in my back beneath a web. I had my companion on guard duty next to me and the web with a big butterfly net ready to intercept the spider if it even thought about descending to say Hi to me. Did I mention in very afraid of spiders?? The things we do in the name of Art. Best, Babsjw

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  10. Tina, I love your pictures showing a comparison between direct light and indirect light. And especially your banner shot showing the “golden” color in the moss. As George Eastman said, “Light makes photography. Embrace light.”

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