Photography literally means “the process of drawing with light” – it’s not “taking pictures of people or things,” it’s all about playing with light. If the light isn’t there, there’s no photograph. If the light is boring, the photograph is boring. But, if the light is right, even the most boring subject is transformed into something magical.

Much of the time, when I jump to grab my camera, it’s because the light has caught my eye. Warm light coming through a window. Light refracting through glass. Reflecting off of a surface. Sometimes it’s just a property of the light that catches my attention – warmth, softness, darkness, harshness.


Shoot the light. Start with the light, then find the subject or story, and work on angles and composition.

It’s not an absolute, and I’ve got plenty of counter-example photos that work despite the light, but it’s a pretty good starting point to find the light, and a photograph will follow.

2 replies on “on following the light”

  1. D’Arcy,

    So cool how you demonstrate your point with so many great photos by none other than you. And what is remarkable to me is how much the yellow, tinged light from your photos at NV 08 actually make me remember it that way. It’s as if your capturing that event gives me the light through which to recall it. Odd, i don;t know how to explain it, but it was a warm yellow time.

  2. D’Arcy, I am not professional photografer to discuss about light etc., but Ilke the gallery you posted.
    Why did you dont use any wodpress photogallery plugin?

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