Light and shadows is something I am drawn to as a photography, and find myself exploring how the world presents itself in this way. What is seen, or even not seen, have been played with, if not manipulated, by photography. The photographer can have quite a lot of control over the lighting of a photo, and as a result, can affect the feel of an image.
However, a photographer can also be at the mercy of light. Not all shots can be set up and controlled in a studio – although, images can easily be manipulated in photo editing programmes like Photoshop.
I do enjoy working with available light, and let it present itself to me. Waiting for a friend at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, I was taking photos to pass the time. The sun was playing hide and seek between the clouds, and I was drawn to the shadows it was making on the walls of a building near the Cathedral.
I managed to get a one photo before my batteries on my point and shoot camera died, which only really happens when you need them most! The impromptu shot really captured the moment before the sun decided to hide behind the cloud again. I am very happy with the rather dark, if not ghostly, result.
The image I managed to get seemed quite simple and primal in some ways. The light coming through the tree branches cast shadows look like blood veins. I managed to capture something that was beneath the surface of life.
While the image is in colour, the look and feel of it is very black & white. Colour can capture the nature of light, but black & white lends itself to light in a way that colour can’t. The very essence of black & white is about light and shadows.
Light and shadows is very fundamental. Much of our experience is about the varying shades of light and dark. This is something I am very drawn to exploring in photography. Even my colour photos often have a fundamentally black & white quality to them.
This is something that I never really noticed until a friend pointed it out to me. No matter whether I am taken in images in colour or black & white, I see things in light and shadows. Without light and shadows, photography would be very different.
Light and shadows can have a very stark element to it, but I also enjoy the greyness of it. Much of life isn’t that stark, and is much more fluid than we think. The playful sun I experienced at St Paul’s reminds me of that. The fluidness of the light created different qualities, and greyness, when it appeared and disappeared. No two moments were the same.