Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chasing the Magic Light - Here we come!

A fantastic magic light scene at the beautiful beach of Seventeen Miles Drive, California, USA.
Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 16-35mm L II, ISO 100, f5, 1/50th sec 
Hand-held, Av Mode, Lee GND filter

OK, it's been a long time even since I thought about creating a blog to showcase my photos.  Well, here it is, finally, after all this waiting and procrastination, and when I saw the news that Blogger is about to release a new feature for photo blogs, I finally decided that it's time to act.... So here I created my very first photo blog, a blog about Chasing the Magic Light...

Yes, Magic Light is what great photos are all about, with it, your photos come to life, and without it, well, your photos would be just those boring or so-so snapshots.  Photos with the Magic Light are the key elements that differentiate the great photos from the ordinary.  Chasing the Magic Light is one of most important acts that distinguish a great photographer from those casual snapshot shooters. 

As this description text suggested, there are two parts in this pursuit of photography greatness: "Chasing" and "the Magic Light".  Let me explain:

1) First, the Magic Light:  This is the essential ingredient of a great photo, a photo that tells a story by the lights that lit up its surroundings and enhance the key message of the photo: 
  • It shows nature's most beautiful color - most of time it's at dawn and dusk;
  • It is the light that enhances the photos contrast, clarity, and brings out the key elements;
  • It conveys the sense of natural beauty and nature's grandeur, by enhancing the sense of seeing the scenery in person and emotionally impacted by it;
When is the best time to capture the Magic Light?  The best time to take great landscape photos, in most cases, is not in the middle of the day, but rather near dusk or at down, when the sun light spectrum is sliced by the atmosphere and produces the most intense color.  As the colorful lights shines on all the natural scenes, you will get the most beautiful photos.  Many great photographers would get up early in the morning while everyone else are sleeping, or waiting for the sun to set in the wildness while everyone else are having dinner, to capture this special elements of light for their photos.      

    2) Second, the act of "Chasing":  Yes, to capture the Magic Light, you will have to chase it - nature's best scenes are all fleeting moments due to fast changing lights, and you will have to put in the hard work to go after it.  Countless photographers have gone to the extremes and as far as the the corner of the world, to chase the Magic Light that ultimately made their photos great and famous.  All these great photographers would climb the mountain tops, crow on the beaches, fly into sky, etc., going to the physical extremes to capture the right light with the right subject composition.  That's the essence of "Chasing the Magic Light" - yes, you will often be literally running after the setting sun trying to capture the fleeing moments of nature's color, as if you were chasing after somebody. 

    The pursuits and hard work by the great photographers trying to capture the right light at the right moment in right places, resulted in their photos to be great and famous.  A lot of people often ask these great photographers: "your photos look so nice, how did you take that?", not realizing that behind all the great photos, are all the hard work of "Chasing the Magic Light" by the photographers, the pursuit of photography excellence with the actual hard physical work.

    So, with this moto of great photography, here I am going to use this blog to show you all the magic lights I have chased and captured, at beaches, on mountain tops, over the clouds in the sky, etc., to bring you the natural beauties that are are often just fleeting moments... 

    Sometimes in the pursuit of this Magic Light, I was close to going just little too far, at the edge of a cliff that I almost fell into ocean or from a mountain top, or I was driving too fast trying to reach to a spot before the sunset that I almost crashed my car.  Once I was running towards a hill at the Coyote Park in the San Francisco Bay area trying to catch a sunset that I was tripped by the park gate ground spikes and fell to the ground, and my camera flew out from my hands and landed 10 fee away, and when I got up picking up the camera, my 70-200mm f/4 L lens was broken into two pieces and I was bleeding everywhere ... but here I am, still alive, after all these pursuit and no regrets :-)

    Let me take you, in the comfort your armchair, to a worldwide tour of many spectacular places, under the majestic Magic Light, and I believe that you will agree with me that all these pursuit are worth it. 

    I hope that you will be inspired by our nature's beauty through these images, and will also go out more with your camera at down and dusk and enjoy photography, and to capture more beautiful images of our nature's beauty and grandeur that our beloved planet bestowed us...  



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