Inspired by Friends – Light Studies


I have a short list of recent blog notes and ideas, some appropriate to the season, and others, appropriate to a certain home project that I am eager to finish! But, today, I was inspired to talk about a fun trip to Pueblo with friends. I had the opportunity to take a beautiful Monday morning and head down to the river walk and historic district in Pueblo with my friends Michelle, and Richard. Two like-minded photographers, teachers, and creative spirits!

I decided to take a digital camera today – oh, the travesty! I felt a bit guilty. But, I have a pile of film I shot this past Friday to tend to, so I wanted a bit of a change for a relaxing day. I decided to focus on the light and do some light studies. I looked at what light does to surfaces, and how it creates depth, contrast and shape. Light is so important to photography; really, it is what we need to create our art.

To quote a couple of the greats, Alfred Stieglitz once said, “Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” And, a favorite of mine, the man often credited with the birth of photography itself, Louis Daguerre said, “I have seized the light, I have arrested its flight,” upon his invention of his photographic process, the Daguerreotype.

From that day forward, photographers have been seizing the light to create our art. I like to pay attention to changes in light from season to season, and from morning to dusk. It’s amazing how light can transform shapes rendering something that looks so three dimensional at one point of the day to a flat two-dimensional surface at another time of the day. Just look up at Pikes Peak at different times of the day! The color of light changes as well. From winter to summer, we see a shift from a golden red light to the clear, whiter light of summer. Light helps us to reveal textures as well as helps us to create contrast.

It is also fun to explore how light reacts on different surfaces. Consider, light on water, on metal, on glass, on concrete, on grass, you name it! Explore it, and shoot it. It is fun to cut loose and do light studies. Consider the shapes it creates, the reflections in water, and the shadows – long and short. Pay attention to light as you go through your day.

So, back to Pueblo, it was a fun day chatting photography with friends, wandering the streets on a beautiful, comfortable spring morning, and checking out the light. I highly recommend the river walk for those who have not been. And, I realized today just how many cool little restaurants line that river walk and what a fun and festive place it must turn into at night. So, needless to say, there is going to be a date night there in the near future!

And, while you’re in Pueblo this summer, be sure to visit the Ansel Adams (speaking of awesome light!) photography exhibit at the Sangre de Cristo Arts Center.

Here, I share a couple of light studies – I most enjoyed the mid-morning light on the Arkansas River.

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