It’s all about the light
It seems to me photography is nothing else if not about the light.
It also seems to me that light is the single and most fundamental ‘component’ when taking a photograph.
No light and there’s no picture. The importance of light is brought home to me every day I walk along the riverside or the canal bank. I suppose part of the pleasure of becoming familiar with a particular route is seeing it change throughout the year.
As the days of the calendar are marked off regular walkers will see how riverside vegetation, plant life, animal life, and the river itself develop and move differently as the seasons come and go.
Even the footpath changes how it feels underfoot, from wet, muddy, and slippy to hard, dry, and dusty and then back again. But more than any of those, more than the vegetation, more than the river and more than the footpath – the light around us seems to constantly change and that affects our view of the world.
Winter light on the Peak Forest canal
When out on one of my regular walks along the Peak Forest canal in December I turned to look behind me and found the early morning winter light cutting through the trees illuminated the water and bank in a way that transformed what was behind me from what was in front of me. The canal looked almost totally different depending on which way I turned to look at it. It was another example of how photography is nothing else if not about the light.
A poem that seems to fit
In 1802 William Wordsworth wrote a poem called ‘Composed Upon Westminster Bridge’
Although Wordsworth was writing about the views of London from Westminster Bridge, I thought the words in the short extract below fit quite well to the views I had when walking along the canal a week or two ago.
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning …
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