Light and The Wave

November 29th, 2006

DSC 5200wave Light and The Wave
The Wave is a special place. In the red rock desert on the Utah-Arizona border, it’s hard to find if you don’t know exactly where you are going. It’s so popular that the Bureau of Land Management requires that specific reservations be made months before a visit. Visitors are limited to 12 each day. And yet, it’s become something of a cliché because so many photographers have been there and photographed it. I made my trip about 5 months after my trip to Maine. By this time I was fully committed to exploring the figure in nature. I was fortunate to find a fantastic model, perfectly suited to the difficulties of this shoot, not to mention beautiful and very physically able to take on any challenges that a shot might pose.

We hiked in before sunrise and stayed all day, hiking out at dusk. The dark contributed to our getting lost. Well, we weren’t really lost. As Daniel Boone said when someone asked him if he had ever been lost in the wilderness, “No, I’ve never been lost. I was bewildered once for three days.” Actually, we always knew where we needed to go. It was just that there is no real trail across the rock surface and we would head in a direction, come to a cliff or other obstacle and have to change course. But we found our way and spent the day shooting. It was a very productive shoot.

This is the last photo I took before we left at the end of the day. It’s my favorite. The reason is the light and the wind. The wind was a constant while we were there. And it is wind full of sand. I had to send one camera in for a cleaning by Nikon after it was exposed to that sand for the day. But it’s really the light that makes this shot so special. As the sun approaches the horizon it enters the narrow openings in the rock from the side and it reflects off the red rock. As the light bounces around in the rocks only red is reflected. So the light gets redder and redder every time it bounces. It almost seems to be on fire. That’s what’s going on here. This isn’t photoshop. (For the record, I very seldom do any manipulation with photoshop. I do the things that would be done in a conventional wet darkroom, but not much more. I don’t add backgrounds or place models into scenes…I don’t have anything against that kind of photography, but it isn’t what I do.) I’ve recently read some debate about the statement, “Photography is about light.” I have to acknowledge that the subject matter is important. But often it’s the interaction of the subject matter with the light that makes a successful photo. That’s what I see happening here. That’s often what I’m looking for in my work with the nude in nature.

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About this Blog

Photos and comments by Dave Levingston. This is the place to see my most recent work which may include nudes, dance, landscape, nature and whatever other kinds of photos I feel like taking.

Since it does contain nude photos, this blog is not intended for viewing by anyone under the age of 18.

All photographs and written comments on this blog are protected by the copyright laws of the United States.

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