Angela Under I-95, Baltimore…2009

 

TAKE WHAT THE LIGHT GIVES YOU

There is no more important piece of advice than this in all of photography.  For so long I tried to ignore it.  Subject and setting can be perfect, but without the proper light you have nothing.  I am apparently stubborn, because it took me quite a long time to figure this out and come to accept it.  Once I made this idea the root of my way of shooting, everything seemed to become much easier.  I also believe the work I am making improved considerably.  Frequently I find myself with a great composition, but with light coming from exactly the wrong direction.  Instead of trying to make the exposure and forcing the issue like I would have sometimes done in the past, I now abandon it early.  If possible, I will store the information and return at a time of day when the light is right, or when it can be properly manipulated.  When I treat light as an integral part of the subject, setting and composition, everything seems to fall into place.  There is nothing more centrally important to photography than light.  The direction, intensity, color and quality of the light all matter.