The Subject of Light

As my endeavours in the realm of photography have progressed in the last few years, the relevance of light has become more of an influence in what I shoot.

This may sound strange given that photography is said to be a study of light, but in my early days with a camera, catching good moments of light was more likely to be luck, rather than judgement. I got there sometimes, but I can’t say I really meant to!

As I began to study photography somewhat more, and look closely at what inspirational photographers shot, there was always a clear relationship between images that appealed to me and moments of light.

Particularly as a landscape photographer, which is what motivates me as shooter,  a few seconds of light on a scene can be a godsend. Whether it provides mood, adds extra depth, highlights a peak, or adds some colour, the light can really make a scene.

Each time I head out with my camera now, I’m scanning the landscape for these ‘moments’ – illuminating a peak, side lighting the coastline, giving rich colour to parts of a scene. It’s become more of a natural instinct over time.

Here’s a few of my favourites that I’ve caught at different location in the last few weeks :

A Rannoch Peak :

Momentary light highlights one of the peaks surrounding Rannoch Moor, Scotland

Rannoch Moor is very well known for landscapes – on the way to Glencoe in Scotland, there is a plethora of scenery to capture both in good weather, and bad. On this occasion, the weather was pretty terrible. I was parked up, surveying the moor, waiting to see what might happen, when the thick cloud opened up a bit, and threw some nice light on this peak and the layers in front of it.

Across the Water:

Stormy light illuminates the Scottish Highlands across Loch Linnhe

On my way home from Scotland a few weeks ago, I was heading back to the airport along the A828, when I came across a storm passing over Loch Linnhe, around the  Kentallen area. The light was tremendous, a rich blue tint to the cloud, that gave the water a great tone. On top of that there was some real drama, as the cloud broke – I had to shoot this on a long zoom with a DX body, so lost a bit quality wise, but I personally love the atmosphere of this image.

Golden Gap :

Late afternoon stormy light at Birling Gap, Sussex

A local haunt of mine for this last piece. Birling Gap in Sussex is a lovely winter location  – at mid to low tide there are loads of rocks on the shoreline, as well as the chalk cliffs that you see in this shot. It had been a pretty grim afternoon, until about 1/2 hour before sunset – again, the cloud broke a little, and threw this lovely warmer light on the beach, as well as the chalk cliffs. The tide wash was significant enough for me to go with shorter exposures which ended up providing a nice foreground.

Happy days hunting that good light ! 🙂 I’ll be out there seeking, for sure!

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