the light in photography


It is incredible how light can enhance or degrade the same subject. The photographer must capture the moment in which the light exalts the subject and makes it unique. That's why I think the elements of a photo are three: the subject, the background and the light.

Defining the subject and choosing the background is a small part of the image creation process. Light can transform subjects and landscapes by making them different each time. I have no doubt in identifying at dawn the most important moment of the day from a photographic point of view.

The light crosses the atmosphere in an oblique, painting the subject and the background in an unpredictable way. During the sunrise the transition from one shade to another and the change in intensity of light is very rapid; surprises wrapped as you need to check the aperture and the shutter speed several times before shooting. The charm of this moment of the day also lies in the fact that it is impossible to predict what will be the palette of colours that will arise with the sunrise, and for sure there isn’t dawn the same as another.

Another aspect of the sunrise that personally fascinates me enormously, lies in the expectation that seems to be shared by animals, by the breezes from the currents. The feeling that I have behind the camera waiting patiently for the sunrise is that the nature wakes up and gives signals that the magic moment is coming. The light increases, you are no longer immersed in the silence, the gulls and the birds start their vaulting, the breeze rises or changes direction, the temperature increases, the light goes from blue to gold to red and finally the first ray of light sun cuts the horizon; it is a point of intense light that announces the incredible power of what is about to be born. The first ray of sun that touches my face has an extraordinary effect, it seems a caress, it seems like a greeting, it seems like a kiss, it is the unequivocal sign that the day can begin.

Photographing a sunrise is all this: a mixture of technique and imagination; analysis of light and poetry; it is an experience that everybody should try.

Marco Bordoni