Natural light

The last of the day, Murrays Bay, Auckland. Su Leslie

What makes photography a strange invention is that its primary raw materials are light and time.

John Berger

Light and shade; colour and texture. Male Hamadryas baboon, Auckland Zoo. Image: Su Leslie

Hints of sunset, Muriwai beach. Image: Su Leslie

Photos have no narrative content. They only describe light on surface.

Garry Winogrand

Back-lighting illuminates shape and detail. Image: Image: Su Leslie

The moment you take the leap of understanding to realize you are not photographing a subject but are photographing light is when you have control over the medium.

Daryl Benson

I definitely don’t feel in control, but the more photographs I take, the more I have come to understand the wisdom of the quotes above.

Back-lighting reveals colour and clarity. Image: Su Leslie

Water adds a new element and changes the quality of light: Image: Su Leslie

Water adds a new element and changes the quality of light; wet tarmac. Image: Su Leslie

Morning mist; and the world seems flat. Image: Su Leslie

Storm night. Image: Su Leslie

Morning light, hotel room, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie

Image: Su Leslie

The only photographer I will compare myself to is the one I used to be.

Emma Davies

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge | natural light

96 thoughts on “Natural light

  1. I never cease to be amazed at how different a photograph of – well, anywhere ! looks almost entirely different from the place when you actually see it. This happened all the time when we were travelling: we’d spent months preparing our itineraries; and we were ALWAYS surprised when we arrived. ๐Ÿ™‚
    These are lovely shots, Su !

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean. I guess part of it is that wherever you go, there are certain views, and certain viewpoints that become iconic (flash word for cliched perhaps). Pre-Covid, hundreds of tourists queued up to take a photo of the church at Lake Tekapo, and the tree in the middle of the lake at Wanaka(?). Whyyyyyy??? The best (recent) photos I’ve seen of those places are actually of the tourists queuing.

      Oops! Rant over.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a breath taking collection of master photography, Su Leslie. The Storm Night and the Hotel Room make me swoon the most – the two swings I could look at every single day until the end of my days – I would even know in which room they’d go. And the bedroom one would go super well with my other ‘boudoir’ photos I already have! But all are magnificent. You are a bona fide artist!

    Liked by 2 people

      • It sort of started when I
        bought an original painting (small) of a girl at the window from the 19th C – and
        took another addition with my (then future) Hero Husband who gifted me a smallish print (ca 15x18cm) of a b/w photo called Dans un grenier (In an attic), a sultry scene HHโ€™s older brother bought in Paris from a bouquiniste (book stall holders along the Seine, selling mostly out of print, old or now ever more โ€˜remadeโ€™ posters, prints etc). Said print was in his posession as his brother died young, approx 2 months after his marriage and since HH was at his bed when he died he got to keep that photo from his wife. So, full of memories and thus very important. We had it framed when we lived in England.
        And, also when living in UK, a friend who has a fleamarket stall, bought โ€˜for meโ€™ a very large, framed, French photograph called โ€˜The morning afterโ€™, a waiter returning home from his job, tie across his white shirt, black jacket thrown over his shoulder, very good looking and romantic, and I recognised the Montmartre quartier which I got to know very well years later, when I lived nr Paris for 12 years….. The friend I bought this tableau from made me pay a lot and I sort of felt obliged (and delighted at the same time) to buy it but I also was intensely in love with it from the moment she showed it to me. it was a sign of how well she knew me that she acquired it with me in mind.
        To this were and are added old pictures of a slightly intimate but never sordid nature, such as an original of a tired, resting dancer in her armchair, b/w in a very old frame, prints of Matisse & Picasso doves, and one of my โ€˜pride and joyโ€™ pictures, a beautifully lightly coloured kneeling angel in an antic framing, done by Louis Davis, and originally sold by The Medici Society in London. Davis was an illustrator, glass windows artist, water colour painter and was called the last of The Pre-Raphaelite Movement. How this piece came to be sold in Southern Devon I donโ€™t know, the backing is sort of worn off, there are paint residues from a wall where it had hung for many years/decades and the carefully inserted metal hooks on the frame are rusty and stick out. The wooden frame must have worked and suffered during the long time and loosened the hooks.
        So you see, every single one of my boudoir collectionโ€™s pictures is a treasure with a history and a story to tell. All of these plus many more are scattered around our bedroom and give me great joy whenever I enter that room.
        Often your posts make me yearn to go back to โ€˜myโ€™ photography which I neglected badly over the years, as I was lacking the energy and time to โ€˜produceโ€™. Every one of my photos always ever told a story and I am sure my collection of pictures would nearly make up a book, as every item has a story to tell. Maybe a project for later, whenever that will be?!

        SORRY for taking up all this space and time, you see – you inspired me to rummage in my own visual world and Iโ€™m not a woman of few words or thoughts!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I can’t really say more than has already been said. I love your photography, you inspire me to do better. The moodiness of many of your seascapes move me far more than bright sunlit shores do.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh my goodness Su, your post this week could be an entire class on using light to optimize results in photography. Truly a stunning display – every image is a perfect display of the effect of light on your subjects. Your quotes are equally powerful. Very, very special response to the week’s challenge.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Pingback: Weekend Sky #20 – March 13th – Blog of Hammad Rais

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