As a member of Lowepro’s professional storyteller team, I am occasionally asked to submit an image and short blurb based on a theme proposed by their social media/community coordinator.
August’s Lowepro storyteller mission “Ambient Light” got me thinking harder than usual. Blinding neon and sickly florescence first came to mind; but that seemed too literal to me. So, I harkened back to an earlier time, when renaissance painters and early film masters told stories in high contrast strokes of light upon shadow to bring depth to an otherwise flat bit of canvas or wall – chiaroscuro they called it in Italy.
Looking over classic works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Karsh and Avedon soon had me wondering about light versus lighting and what the differences were between artificial and natural? Sure, there was color and intensity, specularity and spread, but there was more to it than that. How is it that art seems to motivate the human heart more than the physics of photons ever will?
And then it struck me. The difference between artificial light and natural light really does come down to source; whereas, the difference between natural lighting and un-natural lighting comes down to how the subject is portrayed, because in the end, it’s all about story; and everyone loves a good story.