Available Light

There's a photo I've been wanting to take for a long time. I know the place. I know the light conditions I want. I know what time of day I need to be there. This morning looked like it might just fit the bill nicely, so I was up early, did my morning routine, and had the car out of the garage with camera and tripod well before sunrise. I drove to the spot but my photo failed to show up. There wasn't enough cloud in the sky and there was a fog, and anyway, what on earth did I think I was doing?

Going out with a particular shot in mind is the antithesis of what photography is about. I was wanting to impose my idea on reality, rather than looking to see what was before me. I've been taking pictures for nearly fifty years now, and still I fail at the first lesson!

I took the long way home. I stopped and saw  the fog rolling over the harbour around my beautiful town. I waited for the photos to arrive. I pressed the shutter a few times, but mostly watched the terns and the shadows and the headlights of cars on the wet road, and was pleased that my failure at photographic seeing 101 had got me out and about on such a stunning morning.



Barbara Harris said…
Oh, beautiful !!
Elaine Dent said…
They are so very lovely. Thank you.
Alden Smith said…
For those waking up desperately in the middle of the night begging to know - the Trimaran yacht in the first photograph was designed by an American designer one Arthur Piver. Many of these were amateur built out of plywood during the 1960s. I would be interested to know its name.

I like the way the height of the hill in your 6th photograph has been captured in all its glory. Recently I took several photos of Walter Peak from the Earnslaw and found that the height and grandeur of the mountain simply disappeared in its photograhic representation - did you use a special lens?

My little traveling camera is a Lumix which uses a DC Vario-Elmar 1.3 3-5.9/4.9-22.8 ASPH Power Q.I.S. 28mm WIDE Leica Lens. I have no idea what any of this means of course.
Julianne Stewart said…
This is such a true observation. These photos are so much more beautiful for your having waited for them to come to you, rather than impose your own obviously highly informed knowledge upon them. I first discovered this in a book called 'Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice', by Christine Valters Painter. Thank you for the blog.