Kent Barker taught me portrait lighting during a New Mexico workshop in 1994. The dancer turned pro photographer isolated subjects on a background, using a single large, soft light source. “Dancing with Light” was the theme for the week, and I still have the T-shirt.
In the photo studio, a hand-painted canvas backdrop or tapestry is the background of choice, however in Florida we prefer the real landscape. While outdoors, we just go mobile. A light source on a stand, with soft fill light, we position our subjects between the camera and the view. Looking into the brightness, we need to fill the subject with light, otherwise we achieve a silhouette.
Backlight can be used to define space. In the photo “Dancing with Light”, the negative space provided by the sun, defines the subject. But more, while literal, the birds in their mating dance have an emotional quality to them, dancing in the glow of a perfect sunset.
After all it’s the celebration of John’s 90th birthday and Marleen and Johns 65th anniversary. Like dancers, these backlit birds exemplify grace, fancy footwork, balance, delicacy, endurance, and strength.
Sounds like keys to a successful life. Way to go, keep dancing.
Dancing with Light
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