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Light for Linda


Time for an update: I still use film, though. Not vast quantities, but I have a darkroom, and I'm not afraid to use it.

I enjoy every image I take: I hope you'll enjoy looking at them.
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Light for Linda

29 Jan 2021 6:55AM   Views : 398 Unique : 247


Occasionally, you hear or read something that comes as a revelation, and sticks in the mind. For instance, when I first started swimming, a much older colleague from the next office said, as we were changing back into office clothes after a dip, ‘It’s cheating to stop at the end between lengths’ – part of getting fitter is that the effort continues for more than one or two minutes!

In landscape photography, one of those phrases came up in an interview a year or tree back in Amateur Photographer, one of the more interesting magazines on the shelves. It took me a while to connect ‘Ian Cameron’ with hwatt, and I usually misquote the phrase. I’ve just looked up the interview on the AP website , and I shall quote precisely: ‘I call light, composition and subject matter the ‘holy trinity’ of landscape photography.’ He went on to say that they matter in that order – and ‘I believe you can make a rusty nail sticking awkwardly out of a piece of wood look good in great light.’


That comes up so often in the Critique Gallery, especially with photographers snatching a landscape along the way on a family holiday, and wondering why their shot of Glencoe in the rain isn’t as good as the postcard view. However, the issue is sparked, this time, by a thoughtful lady who isn’t sure how early and late light falls on a particular building – so she’s going back to look! That’s how photographers learn and develop.


Ian is a sensible man, and understands that the weather is often not going to deliver the fairy-tale light that is in your imagination (I know it’s in mine…) I learned this from Dave Butcher on a one-day course that I won in a raffle, leading me to wander round Eskdale on a grey and drizzly day. That doesn’t mean that a grey day with limited visibility puts an end to picture-taking, but it usually terminates grand vistas. Instead, as Dave Butcher showed, it’s ideal for rivers and waterfalls under the trees, where the absence of direct sunlight means that there will be soft and gentle light without harsh highlights.


So – moral of the tale 1: if you want specific light, be prepared to wait. Possibly for hours, days, or seasons; and
Moral of the tale 2: if you can’t choose the time, choose a view of the subject that suits the light.



dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
29 Jan 2021 6:58AM
All pictures are mine, by the way, and they show, top to bottom, how a grand vista in mediocre light is mediocre; how a closeup can sum up the landscape; what to do when it drizzles (wet rocks look great!), and how distorting colours make a portrait look wrong. Here's the original of Eden Elizabeth.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1833 England
29 Jan 2021 8:24AM
And... links for Ian Cameron added. Sorry they're late.
pablophotographer 9 1.8k 405
30 Jan 2021 12:57AM

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