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Tyranny of light


I’ve heard often enough that a photographer should be chasing the perfect light, and while I appreciate the contributions of that perfect light to a scene, its seeming primacy I find just a little limiting.

To me, though you can argue without any light at all there can be no photograph, and that all vision comes to us on the basis of how the light falls and how much of it there is, there are many times when the light is less than it could be. And I get the impression that I should not be taking photographs then.

I have two arguments against this.

The first and most important is that nature, and I am speaking mostly of outdoor photography, appears in varying conditions of light and some of those days or times with substandard lighting are beautiful, and even if less so, are still representative of a true essence. Those times still deserve to be captured, or better put, paid homage to.

Secondly, in regards to the photographer’s essence, to not take pictures just because the light is not perfect is like a cook not cooking when certain ingredients are missing. Taking the picture nonetheless not only can deliver something pleasure but can also using that art principle of working with restrictions, deliver some new strange and wonderful image.

Ultimately you can get a great picture without great lighting and you can definitely take a bad one with the best lighting in the world.

Light. Its major but its just another tool.

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