The universal truth among photographers is that the best light occurs during sunrise and sunset. And then there’s the equally true ”it depends”, but instead of explaining at length on what it depends on, I will just say that light is also a perception. Simply put, it is what we perceive it to be at any given situation.
Today I had a Moment which changed my perception.
I left after breakfast because the forecast said that it will be a sunny morning and rainy afternoon. As I was driving my location, I was cursing at the high cloud – that nightmarish thin cloud cover which doesn’t entirely block the sun but it makes everything look very dull. Is it just me or has there been many such days this summer? But I didn’t have a plan B so I drove ahead anyway, if all else fails at least I could do some scouting because I had never been to this location where I was going now.
By the time I got there, the sun was completely blocked. I practised with long exposures and let the wind blur the grasses and smooth the water and after a while, I was rewarded by the faintest of sunshine and a sliver of blue sky in the horizon. It was only temporary but it gave me hope, so I settled down to have a cup of coffee.
And that’s when I had the Moment.
It was about sitting on a soft pillow of moss and lichen. It was the gentle wind and warm sun on my face. It was the backlit trees on the opposite shore and it was the family of swans and how the light was playing on the feathers whey they extended their wings. It was a Moment of absolute peace.
By the time the sun was out and the sky was blue, it was already a late morning. The universal truth among photographers tells me that the light is not good. But for me it was perfect – the Moment had changed my perception of it. The Moment was more important than the pictures and it liberated me to see beyond the light.
Maybe for anyone else these pictures are just snapshots during harsh light. But for me, they are the experience, the Moment, when I no longer had to search for inspiration like I have been doing all summer because the inspiration had come to me.
The light had never been more right than it was right then.