Where there is light there is hope.
Sometimes the light in a photograph is the star of the photograph, drawing and engaging us, and everything else in the frame supports the light. The absence of a person or dominant object also gives us the viewer space to dream, to imagine what is beyond.
I wanted to use the dark canopy in a horizonal composition to frame the light tunnel. The photograph was made in the late afternoon as the crisp winter light faded on the last day of the year. It is the light and color of my youth, where I ran barefoot, hunted racoons, foxes and squirrels, and caught small fish and crawfish in the nearby creek, as in a Thomas Kinkade painting.
The magical shaft of light faded before I could get a tripod from my trunk so I could use a smaller aperture, like f/8, to carry more focus and depth of field. I could have increased the ISO to 400, which would have given me two more aperture stops, but when using older cameras like the D200, I always use the lowest ISO possible for maximum quality.
Reader Challenge: Head Out In Search of Light
Find a scene where dramatic light is the focal point of the picture—a scene that would be bland and uninteresting without it. Your picture can include a person or animal if they don’t steal the show from the light. Watch for early morning or late afternoon rays peeking through hallways, windows and corridors.
To respond to this challenge, and share your work, email your best image to email@example.com to be considered for use on our website or social media.