ARTICLE Never Say Always, Never! The Dynamics of Light In Photography

"Always" is a big word. It encompasses a lot, even implying indefiniteness. For example "I will always love you [oh wife/oh camera] of mine". So in using it, we need to remember that its scope is far-reaching.

One thing I often encounter is the "always should do ... or use ..." approach for a particular type of scene, subject or technique. The classic favorite you often hear is "overcast weather is always best for photography". I would say that it's ideal for some forms of photography, but if all we ever had was overcast weather, this world would be not a very interesting place. It seems like sometimes we seek to set concrete rules for doing things, to save having to think or make decisions later.

Imagine if every photo was shot in overcast weather - no shadows would 'exist', no nice warm lighting, just consistently even yet somewhat dulled and lifeless imagery. We might as well only ever see in grey. A little limiting and depressing perhaps?

So, don't vow that you'll always be-one-with the overcast sky. If seasonal depression doesn't set in first, you may find your love of photography dwindling. If all we always ever did was follow always'es set by some overcast-worshipping guru, we may find our photos are as 'stand-out' as a cloud hidden amongst an overcast sky.

On our own photographic journey, there's much to see and hear, much to embrace as fact, suggestion or opinion. There's much to take in and hold, and much to let go of. Read More