If it was possible, we’d only take pictures at dawn or at dusk when the light and the sky are perfect. Every building would have windows on all sides so that the perfect amount of sunlight could pour in and light up our subjects. But we work for a newspaper, so all too often we’re standing under ugly, noon light trying to figure out how to get a nice portrait of a high school athlete, or we’re sent out in total darkness to photograph a train derailment or, more likely, when the sun is setting, we’re inside a steel building with no windows photographing an event. Often, the challenge for news photographers is to either bring our own lights or try to find that perfect light where you wouldn’t expect to see it.
Every once and awhile, though, an assignment or a self-generated project happens at just the right time or in just the right room (above) and we’re taking pictures in perfect light. I was thinking about this while I photographed high school band practice at Edmond North last week. The photo-geek in me got very excited about finding pretty pictures in those fleeting moments before the sunset.
Speaking of pretty light, staff photographer Jim Beckel photographed a scene at the fair last year that won an award at the Great Plains Journalism Awards a few weeks ago. Here’s what the judges said about Jim’s picture:
“A very unique depiction of an ‘ordinary’
carnival ride. The black-and-white silhouette treatment makes this a stunning and very interesting image. Good eye!”