It’s an amazing thing in life: Light. Ever been sitting at a camp fire and just fall in love with the way everything has such a warm glow and flicker? Or maybe you have some friends coming over one evening. You turn on all the lights to clean, but before anyone gets there, you turn off everything but just the right lamps, maybe the fireplace and a few candles. The house immediately looks inviting.
One of my favorite recent memories was sitting right next to the deep green field at Fenway Park just as the sun was setting. No word for that other than magic. I love baseball, and no matter what, being there live is incredible. But in that moment, that lighting, I realized that it will be a memory I will tell my grandkids about.
I’ve also seen lighting bleach life and emotion away. My young cousin passed away last summer. He was 32. There was no escaping the tragedy and crushing pain my family felt. When my family arrived at the funeral home, after the immediate impact of facing loss, I felt cold and uncomfortable. The sanctuary was lit with florescent lights. No area of warmth—just even light, cold and flat.
If you look at great moments of your life, I’m guessing there was light that lent a sense of magic and permanence.
I’ve had several gaffers (professional lighting) who worry that all the new and wonderfully sensitive cameras will be the end of their trade. Yes, new cameras allow you to do far more with fewer lights and wattage. New cameras are wonderfully sharp and clean. But is that the magic of what you see?
My wife called me on the way home a few nights ago to ask if I could see the sunset. I was in the middle of getting home as quickly as I could to grab my camera and snap a few shots. We almost always have a great view of any sunset at home. My street is named Red Sunset Drive. I made it in time to grab a few shots. The truly wonderful thing about sunsets is that they are the great equalizer. No matter where you are, a spectacular sunset will make you feel love, feel part of a special moment, make you feel the awe of nature.
Sunsets are nothing but lighting.
I love light.