the time of light

June 22, 2015  •  3 Comments

As I begin to write this blog, it is summer solstice, the longest day of the year, and the first "official" day of summer.  In some northern hemisphere locations, there will be no darkness at all today and for the next few weeks.  Those of us who have clear skies are also being treated to the near convergence of the planets Jupiter and Venus, along with the crescent moon in the western sky after sunset.  All of these events, and the delivery this week of two soft boxes with constant lights, have me pondering and puzzling fill light, and the resulting effect on an image when combined with natural light.


For your viewing pleasure, Exhibit A.

 Soft box with 500 watt bulb on tripod.


Thus far, I have learned that I have a lot to learn.  After making numerous experimental shots with different camera settings, using one light or two lights in respective positions, and using the back spot light, I also know (to take a chapter from Saturday Night Live) I am not quite ready for prime time.   But I now have a greater appreciation for the strength and impact of natural light, and realize that it takes a massive amount of artificial light to take the place of natural light, especially when that light is diffused by soft boxes.  Balancing light and white is an interesting task.  So in future blogs, you will see the results of my learning curve, as I start to feel more comfortable with the equipment, and am not looking at it like a hog looking at a watch.

In the meantime, the light between 7:30 and 8 p.m. last Monday at Casa Gallina in Taos was of the quality we live for and dream of during long winter nights. Rich, long shadows, softened by passing storm clouds.  This sculpture, in its own way, is a slice of Stonehenge, bending and altering the solstice light.

sculpture at Casa Gallinasculpture at Casa Gallina

Next week - adventures in fill light!

until next Monday,


a passion for the [email protected]





Steve Immel(non-registered)
That opening shot is a beauty. Your adventure with studio lighting and the immortal softbox
will be a treasure to behold I know. I have used mine almost nunca since photographing you a few years back but have my set-up set up in Peggy's studio and will shortly relearn the process. We can trade photographs again. Great practice for each of us I think.

Your prose soars.
Daryl Black(non-registered)
Thanks, Fred! Great to hear from you. I hope all is going well with your family, your art, your work, and that you are getting out for some rides on your bike!
Fred Barraza(non-registered)
I always enjoy your blog and look forward to it every Monday.
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