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  • Writer's pictureAustin Harter

Wheelbarrow Natural Light Study

Taking time to observe and describe light



Light and shadow are tools photographers use to paint on their canvases. Making decisions about using them is similar to selecting certain brushes and paints. Over time, the continued practice develops a style and voice. I am still working on that part. I attempt to shoot every day with that in mind.




Yesterday, I spent some time with the concrete-covered wheelbarrow in the backyard. It was a great opportunity to approach a shoot with zero expectations and no requirements. All I had to do with giving myself time to observe, frame, and capture. I must tell you, it's a slow process, and I can be an impatient dude - another thing I am trying to improve. Seems like a recent theme in my life is to take your time, and I hear a voice that sounds exactly like Samuel Jackson saying, "slow down, mothafucka." Always in such a rush.


So I slowed down. I snapped a few frames and even took my time framing them up. A few instances had me moving on before I even snapped a picture. Previously, I worked an angle until it was beaten, battered, and unusable. I still felt the framing was there, somewhere, and I just had to coax it out. Sometimes there just isn't an angle. Hard truths. I didn't feel the pressure to deliver anything, which is nice. I casually photograph the scene on another beautiful day and discovered it was easier to see the shots. I got out of my own way and freed up space for the creativity to warm up organically. It was motivating and inspiring. I couldn't wait to do another natural light study.


Going back to basics put me in the right mindset to create. Now the challenge is cultivating that energy and finding an outlet for it.

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