Monday, March 21, 2011

Seeing the Light

One day in our kitchen, we were talking about light.

"Look, pretend this is the sun." I pointed to the window while declaring the pepper mill the wall and the salt shaker my subject. "The light from the sun falls over the wall and bathes the subject in this gorgeous light... see?"

My mom nodded her head in a semi-understanding. I moved the little salt and pepper around and pointed out different angles. Brandon leaned up against the counter, nodding in agreement.

"But that's just when there is enough light spilling over. Everything changes after that... you'll see." Then I spun around on the little barstool and grinned. Because the only way to master natural light is to get out there and shoot with it. Getting fancy with the spices will only get you so far.

I'll admit in the beginning, I had a crazy time seeing the light. The books I read talked about the color of light, its temperature, the way light looked throughout the year, and how natural light changes at every given moment. I used to think that cloudy days were the best light and that everywhere you looked the light was perfect. Eventually I realized that even on a cloudy day you'll find ok, so-so and then amazing light.

So what does it take to find the light? Lots of practice and moving around your subject! If you find yourself frustrated shooting with natural light, keep shooting. I promise you'll eventually see the light.