Published in the Rains County Leader on March 12, 2019:
I’ve learned a lot about good and bad light from Connie, my photographer neighbor. Good light results in pictures that make me look like I want to look, and bad light makes me look like I do in a changing room mirror under the awful lighting the retail stores seem to favor.
It’s difficult to take good pictures inside our home, at least in the daytime. There are windows in every room, and I’ve learned that natural light pouring in from one of those windows results in washed out photos and lots of silhouettes. After several unsuccessful attempts to capture Kitty in her condo, which is in front of a large window, Connie advised me to change my position by ninety degrees so the light would illuminate my subject from the side. The result is one of my favorite pictures of Kitty. She is looking out through one of the round holes in the side of the condo with a regal look on her face and a halo of light bouncing off her shiny fur.
Connie knows I hate having my picture taken, so she gives me tips on how to pose to achieve better results. Her tips include lift your chin, lean into the camera, relax your shoulders, and in a group shot, don’t put your arms around those on either side of you – it adds pounds!
Last year, a friend gave me a purple suede jacket she no longer wore, and I wrote an article about it. Ever since she read that article, Connie has wanted me to model the jacket for her, but I’ve never gotten around to it. Earlier this year I wore it to church, and when we got home, I asked David to take a picture of me that I could send to Connie. He was just unlocking the door, so he turned and took a quick shot of me with his phone. When I sent it to Connie, she fussed at David for not giving me time to pose, but she said the lighting was good. Apparently, the flat light of a cloudy day makes for good pictures. I had worn a pink top and purple accessories with the jacket, and the look brought out Connie’s creative side. If you see a photo shoot happening at Heritage Park on a cloudy day, you’ll know she’s working on some new photos for my writing endeavors.
This past Sunday, I had an experience that enlarged my understanding of good light. Before the morning service, I was visiting with a friend. When she said something to someone behind me, and I turned and saw a camera pointed in our direction. Stacy, our pastor’s wife, has been taking pictures lately to be used on the new website that is in development. We protested briefly, but she replied, “No, no! You’re in a good light!”
After I sat down, I wondered if I had followed Connie’s posing advice, but as time for the service drew near, my mind turned to more serious subjects. The sermon series for February was “The Marks of a True Disciple,” and there was a lot of emphasis on light. One verse in particular stuck in my mind.
But if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7
That’s what I call really good light.