Photography : drawing with light

River_Thames_Erith_KentThat’s what photography means – drawing with light. Whether you aim your camera at the scene of a tragedy or a sunset, you’re drawing with light.

Since being named, photography has grown up a lot and been used in so many ways : to tell stories, to express wonder, to share emotions. The list goes on.

A few years ago, on New Year’s Day, I decided to go back to basics and follow the light – any photos would be a welcome bonus. It was a cold, crisp morning, so I wrapped up warm and debated where to go. Living on the border of London and Kent, I decided to explore the River Thames at Erith.

In winter the sun is never directly overhead, which makes for interesting light. And when I reached the wharf at Erith, it felt as though all my birthdays had come at once. It was about 10.30 in the morning and the Thames was at low tide, leaving the mud flats exposed. The raking sunlight was just what I needed to draw with.

Whatever your passion as a photographer, it can pay handsome dividends to pause and study the light. Even a 40 tonne truck looks better when shot in good light.

Postscript : unfortunately my New Year’s Day euphoria didn’t last. We needed bread, so on the way home I called at the local ‘open all hours’ shop, parking on the double yellow line outside. Forgetting that parking rules apply on public holidays, I came out of the shop to find a Traffic Warden leaving a ticket on my windscreen. My loaf of bread suddenly felt very expensive.

4 Responses to “Photography : drawing with light”
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