Finding the Light | December {Just the Light}

Just the light. Just the warm glow, just the rays shining through a window, just a blur of beautifully-lit pieces of life, leaving the viewer curious to see more, leaving them to their imagination. When what stands out most in a photograph, is the light itself, that is when the light becomes the main subject. You might have a beautiful person in front of you, or a breathtaking landscape, but the light is so amazing, so interesting, that it is what the viewer keeps coming back to.

How many times have you grabbed your camera simply because the light itself was so amazing? Probably more than you can count. You grab your kid and you cross your fingers that they’ll be cooperative because “omgosh that light!”. This month, we are going to make light itself the theme. Maybe you will showcase the light by blurring out the entire image. Or maybe you will practice freelensing, because hey, you can really manipulate light using that method! Maybe you will use lots of shadows and just a little light, making it stand out that much more. It doesn’t matter how you approach this theme, as long as you have light in mind. You should know by now, that I am very laid back and open to interpretation – in fact I encourage it! But if you’re new here, and haven’t caught on to that yet, well, now you know. :) You might be thinking “so if the theme is ‘just the light’, does that mean I can’t have my kids in my images?”. It definitely does not mean that! Don’t take the theme too literal. Use the light as your lead inspiration and good things will come, I guarantee it.

A theme is only as challenging as you make it. Don’t let it make you feel limited or restricted, let it force you to observe harder and aim for something better than you’ve ever created before. I’ve had this theme brewing in my thoughts the entire year, feeling so tempted to use it as the beginning of a new month would arise, but resisting that temptation and opting to save it for the end. I’m glad I did. I hope you’re just as excited as I am about this theme. I think this is an important one to cover, because we will be looking to photograph just the light itself, which forces us to look closer and clears us of distractions. There won’t be a limit on a type of light, or a time of day, or time of year. There will just be us with our cameras, observing and looking for light that is interesting enough all on its own. Ultimately, this makes us stronger in our work and abilities because we’ve been able to take something so simple and make it beautiful, and we will know light and its tendencies that much more at the end of this month.

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A curtain left open just enough to let in a ray of light, showcasing the dust in the air.

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Just the light? Or just the shadows?

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Light and shadow create the most interesting shapes and offer a feeling to the viewer that can’t be done in any other way.

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Just the light, because he is hiding in the shadows.

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Afternoon light hits the bathroom door, both harshly and softly. I love that there is both harsh and soft light clearly represented here. Look for light coming through your windows in the morning and afternoon – notice where it falls, notice how it looks coming through the window, from various angles. The image below was taken at the same time, looking into the light. Same time, same light, two different looks.

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Just a big splash of light, surrounded by shadows. Everything in this image is drawing the viewer back to the light. It’s all about the light in this image.

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The images above could really go either way – the wagon, or the interesting looking bicycle/cart, could easily be the main subjects of these photographs, but to the right person, the light would be interesting enough to make it into the top slot. I would be that right person. ;) The light drew me in to take a picture and the other objects were a bonus to me, although I do think they definitely help make the image.

In other words, if you feel the light is the subject in your image, then it is. You don’t need approval from me or anyone else! Remember that all month long, and even longer than that.

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The air was thick with bugs for several weeks as the summer came to a close, and on this day they were particularly thick. As the sunlight peeked through the trees before saying goodbye for the night, it lit these bugs up in the most magical way. To add to that magic, I freelensed this image – something I do often to pronounce the light in my images.

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A freelensed image of the dim light coming through the window in my sons room. Our backyard and the backyards of those surrounding us, are filled with tall, tall trees, creating lots of shadows and overall dimmer light inside our house. This image kind of sets the tone for the light we have throughout most of the day, and I quite like it. Calming, quiet light.

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Have you ever noticed how different messy bedding looks, depending on the type of light that is hitting it? Light changes the way everything looks and feels. Light changes our perspective, our mood. This soft light hitting the unmade bed makes it feel soft and welcoming and cozy. 

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