Practice 24

Look for Beautiful Light

Walk into a totally dark room…nada
Look for the beautiful
We were sitting around a fire pit on a dark night in the desert when I took this cell phone picture of my stepdaughter Margie, using only the light of the fire. The digital camera magically captured the golden glow. Like fire, the first man-made light source, there are many kinds of light for you to experiment with to illuminate your subjects, like the single tungsten bulb that lit this lovely Quan Yin. Today, spend your ten minutes photographing one subject using any man- made light source you wish. It will be easy and fun to work with a lamp with a single bare bulb. Perhaps you have a willing model like Margie, but it would be far easier if you use an inanimate object, like this vase.
improvised a light stand for my strong beamed flashlight out of a couple of towels. I kept taking pictures as I moved the light around the vase in small increments. Each shot was different. If it’s easier, keep your light in one place and move your object around the light. If you have a lamp with a shade, take it off. If you have time, do the same photos with the shade on. Study your shots when you have time and see which ones you like best.
I am always reminded when I work with light, moving in and out of darkness, how grateful I am for the gift of sight. If you find yourself feeling the same way, as you shoot, say, thank you. Say it out loud if you want, but it works just as well if you say it to yourself.