One of the first things you learn in photography is the importance of light. Most of us know that photography literally means “drawing with light”, but for many people (me included) it takes a really long time to actually get to understand how to see light and use it to its best.
After all there’s not just one kind of light! For the first few years when I had a DSLR I didn’t see light unless it was shouting at me. I was so focused on things like composure and framing that I missed light totally, but over the years as those other things become second nature, I’ve started to see it more.
This year, I’m challenging myself to do Project 365 again (follow me on Instagram here) and rather than avoiding the difficulties that the short days of January bring, I have tried to pick up my camera more after dusk and to look for opportunities with the light.
A few weeks ago I spotted a competition run by Urban Cottage Industries asking for bloggers to write a blog post using photos that showcase natural and artificial light. I spent ages going through my photos, but in the end I decided to go with two of my personal favourites, both pictures of my son.
This first one was taken on a spring afternoon in my sister’s garden. He’d been bouncing with his cousin and was briefly paused on the trampoline catching his breath as some wonderful late afternoon light broke through the trees behind. I love the way it highlights his messy hair and the subtle arc of sunlight on the trampoline mat
My artificial light photo was taken just a couple of days ago. Theo is sitting at my desk chatting to his Daddy on Skype before bedtime and telling him all about his school trip visiting an Indian temple. The light from the screen captures his profile perfectly against the dark outside…. we’re lucky not to have any street lights where we live so we have that proper deep black outside the window!
This is my entry for the Urban Cottage Industries Let There Be Light competition.