The Light Can Make All the Difference

Two nights ago as I mowed, I watched, as I always do, the maturing light. About 20 minutes before sunset, with bands of clouds on the horizon, the sun peaked through and struck an early stand of my wife Abby’s favorite flower, Indian Paintbrush, in the pasture. I ran inside to grab a camera with my new AF-S Nikkor 85mm f/1.8, and scampered back out to find that the bands of clouds had covered the sun and muted the light. I made a few images under the soft light, but really wanted the bright amber hues of the setting sun behind those flowers. Another day, maybe.

Then last night, I got an earlier start, and planned ahead by having my camera in the garage, readier to go. As sunset approached, I was able to make the image I originally pre-visualized.

As you can see from the results, both images are beautiful, but very different. They are both shot with the same camera, from the same spot, at the same time of day, with the same settings. The only difference is the light.

Indian Paintbrush, 85mm f/1.8 at f/2.5, cloudy light.
Indian Paintbrush, 85mm f/1.8 at f/2.5, cloudy light.
Indian Paintbrush, 85mm f/1.8 at f/2.5, sunny light.
Indian Paintbrush, 85mm f/1.8 at f/2.5, sunny light.
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1 Comment

  1. Reinforces what I’ve come to realize about photography: we are not photographing whatever it is that is in front of our camera (a kid, a tree, a lake, a flag, a firework, an ocean) but the light itself.

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