Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Rodney Smith on natural light, strobes and what was lost... and hopefully found again

For me one of the problems with photography started with the strobe and the use of artificial light. With the use of artificial light, primarily strobes for still photography; one could create great amounts of instantaneous light anywhere, and remove themselves from the quirkiness and variety of natural light, which by its very nature has enormous limitations. Instead of working within these limitations photographers chose a constant light source that is true from minute to minute or perhaps even from year to year.

No longer did one have to deal with the lack of light or learn how to use these limitations to their advantage, or even have to wait for the right moment. Over the years photographers have chosen to move away from a natural light source in order to control the light. One could simply override these limitations by avoiding them altogether. Move away from a natural light source, control the light with something artificial and avoid dealing with a real world that has feelings, moods, and even rain.

Instead of becoming sensitive to the world you know, photographers in droves, like sheep abandoned their interplay with life and how it is revealed by the natural light at that particular moment for consistency, ease, and in many cases boredom.

Many photographers will choose this control and a modicum of success over the risk of failure, but they also have lost the promise of great reward.

Sensitive and right to the point.

A truly wonderful essay.

Posterous hides the link in tiny red below the quoted part, but here is the link:

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