I think of it as ‘still light’, adapting the idea of still life; a style that originated centuries ago in the world of the painted image, and went on to influence the early years of photography…

(240 words. A two-minute read)

(Above: the warm light of a sunset creates an almost lifelike, secondary image of a vase, together with the contents. The shadows of the Venetian blinds add sympathetic texture, without overpowering the surface layer. Such ‘painting with light’ opens up the versatility of the natural medium)

The big idea of still life is to have an intensity of quietness, whose arrangement may also carry a hidden message; ranging from political to moral… or something entirely new.

With still light, I don’t deviate from this much, but look to the direct effects of light to add to the forms to be viewed and, hopefully, photographed.

The best shots are usually sympathetic to monochrome treatment. Tone and contrast are important factors in choosing the original subject.

An image can be changed, completely, by cropping. The eye and the mind can see parts of an image, subconsciously, which may not be immediately rendered by the photography.

But you know it was there….

(Above: sensitive cropping can reveal a different image. Here, the willow stems seem to reach into their shadow counterparts)

A little trial and error reveals it, and the image springs to life, as glimpsed in the original moment.

©Stephen Tanham

Stephen Tanham is a Director of the Silent Eye, a journey through the forest of personality to the dawn of Being.

10 Comments on “Still Light

  1. I do that kind of photography, too (although I’m nowhere as talented as you). I really like the morning/evening sun coming through blinds or lace curtains. Also the way the sun looks against buildings. Certain times of the year, the color of the suncast is especially brilliant.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, SilverAQ. loving what you do matters most, I think. I particularly love the early evening suncast, as it’s so warm, colour-wise, at this time of year.


  2. Pingback: Still Light (2) : Shaken not stirred – Sun in Gemini

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