Yesterday’s Picture, Today

A little light on the subject.

This is the picture that I was going to publish yesterday. A Sunday picture. But, “World Photography Day” got in the way. It couldn’t have been that big of a deal. I saw very few tags with that name attached. Oh well. I had fun.

That said, this is a good time for a discussion about light.

I started thinking about this last week. I had a discussion on somebody else’s comments section about light.  A young photographer. She had no idea that photography is a Greek word for drawing with light. I kind of bumbled around in my reply, by saying “well, it’s an old school photography thing,” as I let her off the hook.

I was wrong to do that.

If you want to do anything, study it. Practice it. You know, my mantra. Study, practice, study, practice, study, practice, study, practice.

If my pictures are any good, it’s because I photograph so damn much. I couldn’t help but improve. All practice. Based on study.

But, that’s not the topic.

Today, it’s about light.

And, how to use it. Or, in this case, one way to use it.

If you photograph these leaves with the light falling on it from the front, it would be a really boring picture of leaves. Maybe you could help it out, by working really close, focusing on one leaf and turning the background into a sort of bokeh. But, still…

When I saw the leaves, they were backlighted by the sun. So much so, that some leaves looked transparent. Others had a rim glow around them. That’s all properties of light. How light works. And, how to use that light to your advantage to make an interesting picture.

Same thing with the greatest light of all. The sun. When it sets, everybody takes pictures of the beautiful light in the sunset. That wonderful light has to fall some place behind you. Turn around. See what it is lighting. Photograph that. Maybe it’s nothing. Maybe what it’s lighting is ugly. Still, turn around and look.

Two more things.

This post is serendipity. A discussion added to some luck with the light. If the Boy Scout in you is always prepared, you can make this picture.

For those of you who are following Storyteller and are taking pictures, let’s do this. The next time you are out and about try to find a way to use light a little creatively. It doesn’t have to be backlighting like my picture. Then make a blog post about it. We’ll discuss it. What do you think?

It’s not a contest. It’s just practice.

Practice. Practice. Practice.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

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