Seeing And Savoring Light

Each art or craft we engage in, as participants or observers, does something for our sense of being alive, our presence in and awareness of the world. Art feeds the head and the soul and it’s an important part of what makes us human. That’s why people should be rightly upset when art is removed from the curriculum in our schools. But for photographers, one major key to that awareness is a sense and sensibility about light. That appreciation starts to build in once you start considering what to photograph and when to make an image. In many cases, if you think about it, the quality of light is often the guiding hand. The bonus is that the love of light and shadow and its levels and color stays with you even when not walking around with a camera.

In some cases I have to admit that sometimes the photograph itself is a byproduct of being in a place at a magical time, yet I also know that the camera is what often brought me to that place. It’s a pretty good trade.

As you look through this issue you’ll notice a special group of images that make extraordinary use of light and photographers who show us, with the results they obtain, that they understand its power and influence on both them and those who view their photographs. My hope is that you look at those images not just as pictures on a page or illustrations of a time and place, but as studies in and tribute to the way light influences our perception of that subject, time, and place. In this issue you’ll see wedding, fashion, nature, and even underground photography that make use of light in a way that can teach us about what that camera in our hands is capable of delivering.

We all know that light at a certain hour is somehow more magical than other times of the day or night, and that point of view, shadows, color cast, intensity, reflection, dispersion, and even light carefully controlled in a studio environment are all part of what makes an image effective. But keep in mind that the camera is there for more than making images; it’s a pathway to helping us delight in and marvel at light’s never-ending charms.

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