You know me.
I love light. I like dusk light. I like golden light. I like blue light.
The word photography comes from Greek words that mean drawing (or, painting) with light. I’d better like light. I’d better like light that is pretty beyond the norm. That’s the heart and soul of making a photograph.
Then it gets easier. You just have to stand in front of better stuff. But. This is a huge but. You know, but, but, but. You have to know where that better is stuff is located. Wandering around aimlessly won’t get you anywhere. Even when I took the picture of the summer growth with the out of focus bridge in the background, I wasn’t aimlessly drifting. I knew were I wanted to be. I just couldn’t get there. Everything fell into place.
I like to return to the scene of various crimes. But, here’s a reason beyond just knowing where you want to be. It comes from a saying by Robert Capa. “If the picture isn’t good enough, you weren’t close enough.” When I was younger, I thought about that in terms of physical distance. You know. Closer, closer, closer… until the frame is filled with the subject as you want it to be. A good friend of mine pointed out that the phrase “close enough” can also be about familiarity and emotional closeness. Think about that.
It’s one reason that return to this freight yard. It also happens to have a car shop located there. I know the scene. I also happen to like trains. Especially old standard streamliner passenger cars. When the light gets really right, I like to check out this scene. I do the same thing with certain neighborhoods.
One more thing. This is railroad property. Crossing the property line is trespassing. If push comes to shove, it can be a federal crime. But, the watchmen are used to me. I hold my camera up and they just nod and wave. Actually, I bet it’s a stop for a lot of photographers. I’m not that original.
Oh. In case you are wondering, I made a close shot. A vertical portrait of the back of the observation car. Something like that has been published on Storyteller in the past. Very tightly framed. Just glowing in very low golden light. I’ve also stepped back to show you more of the scene. That image is almost like this one except there weren’t pools of water left by a big storm. So, there were no reflections.
Sunday. June 21st is the longest day of the year. The summer solstice. Lots of light. For those of you who photograph, think about something that you want to explore. Use all that light well.