Street Photography: The Drama of Light

© 2019

There are many elements that come together to create a composition. One of those elements is light and, sometimes, it is enough on its own to take center stage.

I was walking down 51st Street toward 7th Avenue in New York City when this shaft of late afternoon light transformed an unremarkable side street into a cinematic photo op.

That vista alone was enough to create a dramatic photograph. But I decided to wait to see who might walk through it to add some interest to the image. I was able to time my shot just as this lady walked into the center.

Her presence conferred the image with the mysterious quality I was seeking — the rim of light outlining her head, shoulders, and arms like an extended halo; the hints of color in her otherwise silhouetted figure; the intriguing shadow cast by her motion frozen like a ballerina on pointe.

If you can ignore that it’s a photograph of a moment in reality, you can also view the image as an abstract piece. The angular shapes of light and dark frame the contrasting fractal patterns of the green leaves and their shadows.

These are the kinds of fleeting moments I want to encourage my fellow photographers to look out for when I next present one of my workshops. Email me if you want to be notified of my next one.



Xiomaro does not endorse any advertisements that may appear anywhere on this page.

Published by Xiomáro

Nationally exhibited artist, photographer, speaker, teacher, and curator. Author of "Weir Farm National Historic Site" (Arcadia Publishing).

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