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Finding the Picture with Brooks Jensen

Finding the Best Use of the Light

I suppose like all photographers, I'm always on the lookout for interesting light. Light may not be the essence and soul of a photograph, but it surely is one of our most important tools.

In the image below, it was the glow created by the window light that first caught my eye — not just that glow on the old radiator, but also the sheen coming off the wall paint in the lower right. Just beautiful. But, light alone doesn't make a photograph. It contributes, but rarely is the light itself the reason to look at a photograph.

The "subject" of this photograph should not be the light, but rather the objects the light, um, "brings to light." I moved in on the radiator, lowered the camera to a foot above the floor, and used the light in a way that I hope makes the radiator more interesting and still shows the reflections of the painted wall. In my way of thinking, if someone said, "What fantastic light," I'd guess they were a photographer. If they instead said in reaction to this photograph, "What a fantasitc radiator," I'd be much happier.

Tech data:

Panasonic G1 using a Panasonic 14-45mm f/3.5-5.6 kit lens. ISO 320. f/6.3 at 1/50th sec.