Fill Light

When I'm photographing people, I always look for natural lighting first. I like the way it looks.

But, as with most things in life, a little extra glow from the left or right makes the image even better. So I get out the reflector, look for the sun, then position it so I can lighten up the shadows. And just like that, the world is brighter.

I was thinking that fill light works beyond portraits too. Having someone to discuss a great movie with seems to complete the experience. And in the case of this past weekend in Pt. Reyes, listening to other photographers recap the day as we sit around the dinner table adds shine to the whole endeavor.

We don't have enough of this, do we? 

When I was kid, my parents had friends over to the house all the time. When they celebrated their 50th anniversary, there were more people in my sister's house than we had seats to accommodate.

I'm not looking to blame technology for this, but that does seem to be one of the reasons that our experiences have become more singular. We don't need others parked around the card table. We have plenty to do without them.

I'm not even sure if this is a bad thing. I'm pretty happy. And to be honest, everything seems fine.

Then I go and disrupt it all by leading a workshop. And instead of me basking in the glow of my laptop while reviewing pictures, there are eight of us at a long table recounting the day as we try to decide if an image deserves two or three stars.

I was just fine until you came along. And now you went and made things better.

I've come to the conclusion that I don't need this all of the time. But I do want it on occasion. Much in the same way that a shiny reflector adds a hint of sparkle to a woman's smile, these shared experiences make my life just a little brighter.