My latest photography assignment is to photograph “interesting light” — “This submission is three images,” wrote Mr. Thein. “The subject doesn’t matter; I want you to concentrate on interesting light. You can make an arresting image with an ordinary subject and interesting light, but not the other way around.”
Which is not my particular strong suit, and precisely why he instructed me to search out only the kind of light that provides shadow, contrast and texture. I have a tendency to go for the shot even when the light isn’t right, and I wind up with unremarkable images as a result. Which is a waste of time and effort.
But we’ve been having a run of overcast, rainy winter days lately, and I’m finding it more difficult to do my usual city-wandering and photo-snapping when the natural light is so flat and weak. But I did manage to grab this shot of an Auckland University building perched at the edge of Albert Park:
And I snagged this shot of a stairwell with railing shadows on the beaches of Waiheke Island when we were visiting there last week:
But other than that, I’ve been coming up dry.
In better news, my colour camera has been returned from the Leica headquarters in Germany with its faulty eyelets replaced — though its faulty software is still a problem and I’m eagerly awaiting their next software/firmware upgrade so that I can use the camera in the battery-preserving auto-sleep mode without the thing continuously freezing and crashing on me.
My Leica M-Monochrom is a total workhorse and performs with nary a hiccup, but the new M-240 — while offering up terrific colour — is fussy and finicky because of its brand new features and software. Leica will eventually resolve the programming errors, but first they have to figure out what they are . . . and god only knows how long that will take.
One happy side effect of possessing a buggy colour M-240 is that I’m getting a lot more comfortable with shooting in black and white. While I do find black and white difficult because it relies solely on light variance and tonality, once I can get my brain permanently wrapped around the idea of photography as the capture of interesting light (instead of the capture of pops of interesting colour), I’ll be better off all around.
So, run to the light!
Is this what you’d call “interesting light” . . . ?”
I guess this means I’ll need to start scouting for public interior locations around Auckland that provide #1) shelter from the unpredictable weather, and #2) good lighting. Kind of like what I found in the Britomart Transport Centre a few weeks ago.
*IN OTHER NEWS:
I hit the Agents & Merchants restaurant for lunch yesterday:
— Nathan Branch (@NathanBranch) May 31, 2013
The food was good, but the restaurant atmosphere and kitchen pacing were a little off/slow due to it being the beginning of a long holiday weekend (it’s the official celebration of the Queen’s birthday on Monday); otherwise, I think the place would have shown a little more business-lunch spark and speed to go with its flavour-packed menu.
The Duck Confit and Porcini Mushroom Risotto (both pictured above) were standouts, but we also tried the Thai Prawn & Chicken Noodle Salad, Grilled Togarashi Tuna and the Bento Antipasto Box (which included marinated capsicum, slices of serrano ham, buffalo mozzarella, sun-dried tomato pesto, artichoke hearts and a mix of spicy green and black olives, served up with a side of warm bread).
*NOTE: Don’t worry — we didn’t eat it all! It was a grazing, tasting lunch for the purpose of finding out what the kitchen is capable of.
The accompanying glasses of wine were from the boutique Waiheke Island Te Motu winery, a winery I wanted to visit when we were staying on Waiheke — but we ran out of time; although, Waiheke Island is close enough to go back anytime for a rematch.