Infocus Blog

Seeing Light.

Photography is simply a way of catching light and presenting it on film.  Light in all its spectrums and wavelengths is mostly invisible to the human eye, but the part the human eye can see allows our normal sight and perhaps one of the most functional sets of eyes on earth.

Because sight comes naturally in our daily lives we really do little to improve it beyond getting regular checkups and perhaps prescription glasses or contacts.  However, the real improvement in sight can come from training your brain to see light I ways you’ve always seen but maybe never noticed before.  It takes years to train our eyes to instantly notice the direction of light, the temperature, and how it interacts with the scenes and objects we photograph.  This is the single most important skill for a photographer and the skill that sets apart the top pros from everyone else.

This is an area in which I’m still learning and I suspect I’ll be improving on my ‘ability to see’ my entire life.  Ansel Adams most famous works have been copied millions of times, but it was his ability to see and capture light during certain seasons, weather, and time of day that made his work so famous.  Check out this website on Ansel Adams here.

Take whatever opportunities present themselves and see the light.  For three years now I’ve lived in a high rise where I can stand on a certain balcony and watch the different types of light rise and fall over Bangkok during all the seasons, all types of weather, and all times of day and night.  The contrasts are simply stunning!  I started a journal describing the light and almost every week I add another entry as I train myself to ‘see’ the light falling on the city.  Often when out in the field I’ll stop and sit for an hour or two watching the light change with the rising/setting sun, waiting for that special moment, and someone will sometimes ask “what are you doing just sitting there and not even taking your camera out yet?”  I tell them: “I’m developing..”