Light is the magic word for photography. In fact photography is exactly that “painting or drawing or imaging” with light. As I have mentioned time and time again, the intensity of light changes depending on time of day and season of the year. The light at sunrise and sunset can turn an otherwise ho-hum image into an eye popper. Low angled intense light brings enchantment to even the most mundane subjects.
The winter is a wonderful time to use this light. Sunset comes early in the evening or late afternoon. So you don’t have to spend 16 hours waiting for it.
This beach foam and reflected cliff side in low-tide water-covered sand is an example of late afternoon light making everything from the water to the foam bubbles glow. To accentuate the relatively large clusters of sea foam I used a wide angle, 18mm lens. I was not using a full frame sensor camera so the 18 mm is about 28mm, which is still quite wide. Also I got down very low and very close to the sea foam. It reminded me of “snow banks.” Having grown up in upstate New York my fond childhood memories include jumping into 3-6 foot snow banks. But now I prefer the ocean side and my feet in the sand.
I use a tripod nearly 95% of the time. But on the beach it was easier to fall to my knees and plant my elbows in the wet sand. I also needed a fairly fast shutter speed (1/250) to freeze the movement of the sea foam that was gliding along like ice skaters pushed along by the strong winds. Yet I still wanted a pretty small f-stop to get great depth of field (in focus from close to far), f/22 in this case. As I walked toward the surf I was able to position myself at an angle to the sun and the cliff side so that my polarizing lens was pretty effectual. This will make your colors richer and cut some of the glare off the water – but don’t rotate it too far otherwise your reflection will disappear.
My second shot was captured with my PowerShot S95 while walking at sunrise in Sausalito. An old Chevy pick-up was parked on Bridgeway. I might have normally passed it by but Photochrome has on its agenda for 2012 a “headlights and grills” theme night. The fun thing about having assigned subjects or concepts is that it opens one up to a wider field of view. Again it was the light and angle that made this picture.
It is no wonder that all which is holy and sacred, peaceful and just (God/dess) is called the “light.” Of course, without it’s partner “darkness” the metaphor and reality of light has little power. So as we head toward the winter solstice and experience again the shortest day and longest night we are reminded of painting with light and awakening our hearts and souls to that which is “awesome and good.”
Do join the community of herchurch in San Francisco for a candle light Christ-Sophia Mass on Sunday December 18th at 10:30 AM to celebrate light and darkness and the rebirth of the Divine Feminine in our world and hearts. Blessed Be! Enjoy the brass quintet, harpist, inclusive hymns and inspiring word/wisdom. And there is a lunch provided afterwards.
We are at 678 Portola Dr. And then you can hoop over to A Woman’s Eye Gallery where we are having a colossal sale – all images are 25% off. (Okay, this has now officially become an advertisement).