It’s the Light, Stupid
I’m really not in the mood for controversey at the moment. I’m on vacation, after all. Out in the great southwest (where life is truly worth living). As opposed to Webster, NY. Where life is only moderately worth living. Or even less so between November and May.
But some recent stuff on the blogosphere seems to be resurrecting the old argument about the virtues of light in a photograph. The one that says that light is important – as in you can’t make a photograph without it – but that it’s not worth “chasing”. You don’t need to look for “good light”. You just need to look for good subject matter. If you happen to get nice light at the same time, that’s sort of a bonus. A hidden jackpot, so to speak.
Horse Pucky. Not only is that just a bunch of crap, it’s hypocritical. It’s an easy thing to say if your claim to fame is as a non-pretty picture maker. If you claim that getting pictures that look “nice” is some kind of “fetishistic” lower form or more infantile version of photography. The kind of pictures that might make a good postcard or calendar picture. But nothing that might actually provoke thought.
Then – when you do see something that’s actually bathed in some decent light – you can claim that you just happened to see it (the “pretty” light) and figured what the hell, I might as well snap it. Jeez, the damn light just appeared in front of me. What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t just ignore it……….
Again, horse pucky. Borrowing the old Clinton campaign slogan (with a slight moderation), “it’s the light, stupid”. The best photography requires good light. It doesn’t really matter if you chase it or stumble upon it – you’re better off if you have it.
OK, time to go. I’ve got some early morning light to capture (on red rocks). You can go shoot the inside of your refrigerator or something. Whatever turns you on…….