About Me

My photo

I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Side Lighting

One of the most difficult things I find about writing my blog is matching words with the images. Matching something of photographic instruction with the picture. Because all my images were taken to show something about the subject, as opposed to illustrating a photographic technique, sometimes I find that my posts tend to drift towards pictures that I like, rather than ones that necessarily teach you all something.

So you'll have to forgive me the occasional digressions. As I mentioned yesterday, I've been listening to the wonderful Salif Keita quite a bit lately.

I first heard his music in his home country of Mali, West Africa. After travelling down through the Islamic nations of Morocco and Mauritania I finally felt like I'd arrived in the 'real' Africa. At least the Africa of my imagination.

One of my most rewarding travel experiences was the few days I spent in a Dogon village. The Dogons are an ancient people who, in order to escape invaders, built their houses farther and farther up the sides of very steep cliffs. Still living as they have for centuries, we spent a few days walking from village to village, camping on the rooves of houses as we went.

One of the art forms the Dogons are famous for are their intricately carved doors. Although they are often carved for the tourists, you can still walk through villages and find amazing examples of them on people's front doors. This was one such door. The attention to detail was incredible and I was mesmerized by it. When I first came across it the door was in shadow and I didn't feel the light really captured it at its best.

So I came back later in the afternoon to find the sun raking across the front of it. Side light is wonderful for really showing the texture in something. Texture is good because it really brings out the three dimensionality of objects, makes them almost so real you can touch them. In this case I felt that the side light really highlighted the grain and texture in the wood so you could get a feel for the age of the door as well as the shape of the statues.

No comments: