Hiding In Plain Sight
My favorite kind of light to shoot is fleeting. It consistently appears like a ghost passing through my awareness. Soft, delicate reflections that drift slower than our patience will usually allow us to notice moving until its gone. There are countless memories stowed away in my mind where these ghosts have shown themselves to me only to have me scramble to dig out my camera wherever it may be only to find by the time I was ready to shoot it had already passed. Light is a force of life that reminds us that we must absorb these fleeting moments before they slip by, camera in hand or not.
That said, if you fancy yourself a photographer here is a challenge for you. Capture one of these moments. Surely you know the type. That tiny window of time wherein light graces a surface in a way so perfect it could only exist this way on rare occasions. It’s not always just a beam of light creeping across a wall. Sometimes it sneaks in through the window of a bus like in the photo above, perfectly lighting everything inside until it turns to another street or ducks behind a building. Other times it may be that perfect combination of the angle of the setting sun and the spot you are standing in that causes the world to illuminate in front of you.
Here is the tricky part. Once you find it, take only one photograph. Even if it’s against better judgement to do so. Just go with your instinct, don’t over think it, use what you know about good exposure and composition and trip the shutter. In limiting yourself you are playing along with the transitory nature of the moment. I think it’s an important lesson to learn and one I hint at often around here. Don’t let the camera get in the way of the wonderful things you seek out to shoot. Let these moments find you and simply live your life.
For me, photography is an experience in which you hold close the romantic nature of life and do your best to keep it from being forgotten. So keep your camera nearby and look for those softly lit moments hiding in plain sight. If you capture something feel free to share it with me through email. Maybe I could share it here in the future.