One of my favorite pastimes for a sunny (lousy light) day is going through old images. So a few days ago I was perusing my archives when I came across this 6-year old poppy image that I have absolutely no memory of taking.
Discovering these unmined gems is like finding a $20 bill in the pocket of a jacket you haven't worn for years. We are constantly growing as photographers (right?), so what didn't catch your eye originally may just turn out to be special to your new and improved photographic vision.
If you've been reading my blog for awhile (and maybe even if you haven't) you probably know the role the quality of light plays in photography. It may be the single most important element of a successful image--without the right light (however you choose to define "right"), even the most beautiful scene becomes a merely ordinary photograph; with the right light, the most ordinary subjects come to life.
Compare today's image with my previous post. Both are intimate views of poppies with startlingly different results. In the earlier image brilliant midday light evokes uplifting emotions of a dazzling spring afternoon; in today's image muted, end of day light creates feelings of brooding introspection. I'm sure in a vote for "favorite," both images would be well represented. In fact, I suspect many people's opinions would change with their moods.
Every time you click your shutter you have the power to move somebody with your creation. The difficult trick is harnessing that power, something that requires an intangible synergy of logic (such as planning and camera settings) and emotion (such as your feel for the scene and your sense for visual balance). Sometimes you don't know what you've captured until return home; and sometimes you don't know for years.
* Website: Eloquent Images
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