Last Saturday, I enjoyed a soul-satisfying artist date. Two factors conspired to make that happen: 1) a few days earlier, my doctor “reprimanded” me for not giving time and effort to exercise, in my case, walking; and 2) this month’s photography class assignment requires that I see the world at different times of the day. So, I planned an early day of walking and photography at nearby Spanish Point in Osprey.
The photography assignment asks us to concentrate on four kinds of light: diffuse light, sidelight, backlight, and magic light in which the sun spotlights a portion of a scene. I am aware of the quality and direction of light in what I see, but this is the first time I actually went searching for different kinds of light and named it as I received the images.
When I composed each image, I realized that most of the time, I look for bright sunlight and dark shadow to create as much contrast as possible. That day I deliberately looked for close-up images that were in complete shade (diffuse light). I was amazed at the color saturation of the flowers and leaves.
These two lessons – searching for the light and naming it, and recognizing the wonder of staying in the shade – lead me to the second part of the assignment. In our photography journals, we are to reflect on the questions, “How are light and faith interrelated for you?” and “How comfortable are you in darkness – physical, mental, or spiritual?”
In faith, I am always searching for the light – the light of knowledge and wisdom, the lightness of hope and encouragement. I find resonance in Scriptural images that portray Christ as the light of the world, bringing light to all its dark corners. I have not always been comfortable in diffuse light, that is, times of uncertainty, when my life is neither dark nor sunny. Maybe if I’m willing to stay in the shade – the diffuse light of faith – for a while, I will come to recognize the special gifts of balance and “saturated” contentment of those times.
Wild Coffee (2017) — diffuse light
Note. In our photography class this year, we are incorporating a Great Courses DVD series, which features 12 National Geographic photographers who share their insight and images.
Note to Self. A 2-hour walk through the woods may not have been the best way to start an exercise program!