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When light shows up

Yesterday I took a field trip.  I don’t often take the time to study other photographers but when I do, I take something away with me, something to use in my own art.  I had the chance to pour over some Richard Avedon photos, many I hadn’t seen before.  His simplicity was what made him stand out, at least in my mind.  His perspective of composition was not traditional.  In fact he broke many of the first rules we learn in photography.  Many of his shots have the model falling out of the frame in such a natural way that I didn’t mind not seeing the whole picture.  It made sense somehow.

I think what stood out for me the most was his use of light.  It was subtle.  The blacks were so deep.  I think we/I have such a strong urge to bring something out of the shadows that I diminish their beauty.  It is contrast after all that gives each of us our uniqueness.  It is no different in a photograph.

As I looked through many of the pictures I’ve taken in the past month, I saw these shots taken in North Vancouver by the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  It was a mid morning light that came through the trees, the mist was burning off but I managed to catch a few pictures of the quietness of the moment.  I left the shadows alone.  Some blacks deeper than others.  I need to let the light illuminate what it wants and let the rest be.

Needless to say I think there will be a lot more field trips this year.  It’s time to open my eyes to other possibilities, other perspectives.  For me, studying some of the “greats” in art pushes me forward and helps me take more risks.  So thank you Richard Avedon for letting me see your light.  Thanks for showing me that its ok to break the rules sometimes.

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