I was listening to Episode 337 of The Candid Frame podcast with Frank Ockenfels this morning, and a couple things he mentioned stuck out to me. One of them was the concept of keeping a light journal. Ockenfels’s journals are legendary in photography, but I hadn’t really thought about keeping a journal specifically for light before.
I told the students to keep a light journal, which is my favorite, and you basically just, every day you see a piece of light that you like, and you take a picture whether it be like the light’s coming in and it’s all behind you and wrapping around, you take that picture. Or you look over how that light is coming off a soft sky, and there’s like this, and you make notes of that, so when you go to light a picture, that’s how you want to light your picture.
And I gave the grand example of sitting in an airplane, and you go through when the sun moves on an airplane and you watch it come through, those are all amazing things. In photography, the reason we take pictures is to capture light. It’s recording moments, but the light makes it so much more interesting…
[Emphasis own] Source: Interview at thephotographicjournal.com
I haven’t been formally keeping a light journal, but I’ve certainly been growing more conscious of the way light moves since I got into photography. This is particularly useful when shooting in cities because there are so windows for reflections and so many nooks where light can creep through and create powerful shadows.
I love shooting in parking garages for that very reason, and I was thankful to have my X-T2 with me when I noticed this scene. The post on left was bisected by the morning sun and the post on the right, while being completely in the shade, was capturing the light reflecting off the cement wall. A few years ago I probably would have walked right by this scene without taking a second glance, but now I find this sort of thing endlessly fascinating. This is the upper left-hand brick.