I’m out on location for a hired job. I thought I had thought of everything in advance. I timed it as I usually do so I can finish before the sun goes down. I want to have the best light for the landscape shots I am taking. It makes a huge difference in the mood and quality of the photos depending upon the time of day. I think of the French artist, Monet, and his famous haystacks. He was out in the country with easel and paints in hand. He set himself in front of a large example of his subject and then proceeded to capture its color qualities and the distribution of shadows as the time of day elapsed. He must have painted a dozen of these haystacks, each unique in every way. To see them together is a marvel of artistic ingenuity. It takes one of the basic qualities of painting—light—and makes it the true subject of art. This is how I feel when on location dealing with the changing properties of light. I have to make light count as a primary focus of the photos. Light transforms and transfigures the subject, no matter what it is. In this particular case, it was magical and translucent, but it seemed that time passed so fast.
This happens when I get truly absorbed in my work. As the light was so captivating, I didn’t real care that it was growing dim. The later the day, the moodier the shots. It was going to be so divine to have a collection of pretty cool photos as a result. As I pack most things I need ahead of time, I immediately thought of Flashlight Pro and the small flashlight that I’d bought after reading a review there. I could now see well enough to change settings on the camera or to move to a new vantage point where I could set up shop. The flashlight afforded just enough power to continue on and make it through the rest of the shoot which was well before total nightfall. Whoever gave me that flashlight did me a big service and I thank you.
When the photos were all cropped, touched up, and processed, I name the series simply “landscapes” and dedicated them to Claude Monet. After all, he was my inspiration. I was eager to show them in a series each photo mounted according to the time of day in my next gallery show. As it so happened, people got the point right away. They knew it was a study of light, not just of a particular scene in nature. Monet also did his light progressions with other subjects like the façade of a church. I am not copying something obvious and well known. I am giving it my own particular twist. After all, he was a painter, and my tool is the camera. Right there it gives our artwork an immensely different feel, but the inspiration is there in any case. Thus, you have a bit of insight on artistic motivation in photography. That is what this blog is all about.