Whether you’re look­ing to add drama or cre­ate a more serene scene, you need to wait for the right light

NPhoto - - Feature -

Ed­ward We­ston said, “The most im­por­tant el­e­ment with which the pho­tog­ra­pher must deal is light. Cam­era, lens, film, de­vel­oper, and print­ing pa­per have but one pur­pose: to cap­ture and present light. Yet for all its place of im­por­tance in the pho­to­graphic scheme, light is too of­ten un­known, un­stud­ied, and abused by pho­tog­ra­phers to­day.”

It may seem ob­vi­ous that land­scape pho­tog­ra­phy re­quires an ap­pre­ci­a­tion of light, yet how many of us have re­ally stud­ied it? We­ston once ad­vised a friend to “go out with his cam­era and study light at first hand: To see what it does to fa­mil­iar and un­fa­mil­iar ob­jects – a tree, a face, a cloud, or a cloud­less sky. To look at the same scene at ev­ery hour of the day – not glance – but look with un­der­stand­ing, un­til he learned to see ob­jects in terms of their light qual­ity.” His son Brett put it more suc­cinctly: “If you’ve no sense of light, you may as well for­get about it.”

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