As if I needed a reminder as to how important light is to our perception of the world. We just replaced a fluorescent light in our kitchen with a fixture consisting of four positionable halogen bulbs, and what a difference. Our kitchen isn’t bad looking at all, but the new light fixture makes it look soo much better. The quality of light from the halogens is warmer, more directional, and brighter (though controllable as it’s on a dimmer). It all served for me as a practical reminder that light can really change the feeling and mood of our visual experience; even in ways that can surprise a photographer.

In this image of trees in a snow-covered landscape with fog, it is the scattering of light that gives it the soft, moody feeling. I would not have made this image in most other forms of light. Made in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

trees-snow-fog

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6 thoughts on “Light Matters

  1. Hi Paul,
    I am 100% with you when it comes to light and light sources. I do not understand why many people seem to ignore what influence light can have in a room especially – from feeling absolutely wonderful till totally disgusted.
    I absolutely love this kind of photos – since 2 years I am eagerly waiting for this kind of fog to get out with the camera but no luck so far – LOL. Hope to see more of these from you….

    kind regards,
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to you and your family!
    Petra

  2. You made a good point here Paul. I can try to imagine that scene in normal daylight, even overcast, even perhaps with some fall colors – none of them would be as photogenic.

    Seems most great foggy days I am stuck with some other obligation! I hope I get one of these soon.

  3. Well, I guess there is a “right” light for everything, bringing out the maximum value of a certain subject. Oh, and not just one right light, but probably several ones: here the fog is great, especially with that hint of the second tree just shining up, but maybe also silhouettes in front of a stormy sky could be possible. It’s just that for a given light you have find the right subject – and here I fail quite often – and vice versa, as you did here with the tree. A great shot, definitely a keeper.

  4. Markus,

    Thank you for your comments. I look at subjects not so much as having their own perfect conditions as much as myself having strong preferences. I enjoy silhouettes as well, but there is a certain mystery about fog – you picked up on that subtle second tree. I suspect that if you “fail quite often” it is because you are striving for excellence.

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