Ambient Light   5 comments

Warm and Inviting

Photography is all about light. The color of light, the direction of light, the absence of light. Tones, shadows, highlights, mixed together to create form and composition. Lighting is to photography what garlic is to Italian cooking. It is the paint we use on our canvas. This past weekend found me back in Charleston, SC. A trip not meant for picture taking, but my camera was on my shoulder none the less. I wasn’t feeling particularly creative nor was I “seeing” anything worthy of my bringing camera to eye. I’ve learned that you just have to be open to finding something special in your surroundings and look for the beauty that surrounds you and something will reveal itself.

In the early evening hours, I walked past this art gallery and was struck by the warm glow that emitted from it. Without my tripod, I leaned against the building across the street, steadied myself and slowly depressed the shutter release. A view on the back of the camera was not promising.

After I returned, I downloaded my pictures and began my typical post processing. I kept going back to this image with no luck until I tried an effect I had used a few weeks back. All of a sudden I breathed life into the image and started to get excited about the results. The warm tungsten light glowed to almost pure yellow and the cool outside light further accentuated the contrast.

Today, as I studied the image to inspire my writing, it occured to me that this warm glow could become a thing of the past. Traditional tungsten light bulbs are being regulated out of existence. Is it possible, say 10 years from now, that no such warm glow will emit from within a dwelling? How sad. The yellow tungsten lamp has shaped photography in a way we might not fully recognize until its gone.

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Posted January 9, 2012 by Paul Coffin in Architecture, HDR, Travel

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5 responses to “Ambient Light

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  1. Very Nice Work!

  2. Beautiful!

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