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Camera Work: The Gift of Light

Camera Work: The Gift of Light

Today we celebrate the return of the sun, Winter Solstice. Therefore, the title: Gift of Light. It is indeed a gift.  Life depends on it, so we may extend the title and call it The Gift of Life.

“Photographers can function so long as there is light,” a quote I read years ago, probably Edward Weston, and it’s true. It is the photographer’s job to work with what is available, to let the subject in its interaction, speak to you. It’s a voice cultivated by continuous exploration, with the eyes then with the lens. That includes the contribution to the environment established by light.

The image today is but 2 days old. On Friday, the heavens opened with a promise of either wet weather or winter light; I decided it was time, again. We drove to a favorite place at the entrance to the Columbia Gorge, Edgefield, a restoration of Multnomah County Poor Farm from the 1920’s. It took but 5 shots to get the one here. I could have tossed the camera in the car and gone home, but I didn’t. It was a primo solstice day.

The wrought iron is of particular delicacy, its simple, repetitious patterns, mesmerizing. A break into the 2D patterning by fractal forms at the edges along with pots at the bottom, awaiting next year’s growth, breaks the 2D pattern’s hold on the eye but does not interfere with it. By frame 5, I had it nailed.

The building whose wall this pattern graces has been a draw from day one. It’s quite small, barely large enough for a small office, and at the peak of the roof is a copper metal sculpture of Jerry Garcia, swinging his guitar like a hammer! (I’ll show that some day!). Why Garcia here, I don’t know; the McMenamin bros, who own and run the lodge, like the Dead and have created one of the small bars on the property remembering them. Their music plays continuously. The ambiance of Edgefield could hardly be the same without the Dead’s inclusion. It is a draw for myself and my SO who photographs extraordinaire here as well. And I am not particularly a fan of rock!

We have light, a place and a day.

The timing of this image should be noted. The light is just about to leave the wall. Cross light raking the surface of a wall is one of the forms of lighting I look for when doing architectural photography. In fact, I plan it, noting the time of day and the compass orientation of all the walls that may be lit in this fashion. In this case, I stumbled on it. A few minutes early and I might have made a note to check back later, 5 minutes later, it was gone. If I left the house perhaps even a minute later where the traffic light patterns could have increased the drive time, well, you get the picture (I did!) A gift of light, resulting in delight!

(A sad note of passage: Rest in peace.

Note: Photo ©2014Lawrence Hudetz All Rights Reserved.

Here’s a link to a larger image on my website.

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Lawrence Hudetz

Lawrence Hudetz