Addicted to great light

I know that this sounds like a cliché but good photos depend on good light.

I remember when I discovered this as a novice photographer.  My wife and I were holidaying in Western Australia in 2011 and I was using this as an opportunity to dip my toe into the world of DSLR photography.  We were travelling around the southern part of WA, often staying only one or two nights at each location.  One afternoon we arrived at Walpole for an overnight stop.  As I had been doing throughout this holiday I started exploring this new location and discovered a beautiful sea inlet only a short walk from where we were staying and gave my new camera a work out taking a range a shots of this idyllic location.  Quite content with my discovery I was very pleased to retire for the night with the usual bag of holiday snaps on my hard drive.


This night however a thought occurred to me.  I had read on quite a few photography sites of the importance of finding good light and of the importance of sunrise and sunset to landscape photographers.  As lay in bed that night I decided for the first time to forego the holiday sleep in and try to get up early to catch the sunrise.  Little did I know this would be a turning point in my tentative venture into photography.

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The next morning I found myself at the same landing by the inlet but now it was as if I had discovered a brand new world.  What had been a great location during the mid afternoon the day before had suddenly become a wonderland of colours, shadows and tones as the rising sun transformed the scene before me.  I could not believe what I was capturing.  So this is what they had been talking about!  This was a defining moment for me as a photographer.  It was as if a whole new world had opened up to me and I was filled with a sense of joy and hunger to keep reliving this experience again and again.


I sometimes laugh at my approach to photography now.  Although I am always looking for the next great subject my real passion is to find the next great moment of light.  I now find myself driving around my favourite photography areas at sunrise looking for that fleeting moment when the light changes a scene into something special.  It’s almost as if the subject now plays second place as I keep looking for that transforming moment of light.


Greg Johnston

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