Met up with a friend recently over a fine Denny’s breakfast. We don’t talk much these days. See each other even less. So of course it was good to catch up. He’d been a working professional photographer for most his adult life but a few years ago hung it up mostly and took on a different line of work completely out of the imaging business…
Jokingly (sort of) he’ll say that talking about photography makes him itchy… even being around other photogs makes him itch and scratch.
So after all the pleasantries of chatting about family and work and such (we actually skipped the weather talk). He told me I need to invest in a good porcelain sink. Yes. Our conversations tend to… drift… significantly. Of course I wonder why a sink. And a porcelain sink at that. Then without so much as a flinch or a scratch or an itch he told me about the amazing Light that comes through his bathroom window of a morning.
It seems Light pours through the little window and fills the bright, white, porcelain sink. But unlike the morning’s first splash of water, the sink cannot hold the Light. It becomes luminescent and bathes the subject before it with a refreshing glow… that kind of glow that supermodels love to see applied. Instant wrinkle remover and much much more 😉
If you start shopping for reflectors and modifiers you’ll find hundreds of things folks have devised to make Light more controllable… but the mother of all reflectors just might be the humble bathroom sink. White and clean of course.
We discussed using this as a light shaping tool. Think of the beautiful headshots. Hard for anyone to figure out such an exotic, secret recipe! I imagine actors and models would be flocking to our bathroom sink studio to bask in the glory of its luminescent glow!
The interesting thing here is not a new lighting solution. Image makers have probably been using all kinds of make shift solutions since the first caveman broke his printer and had to blow ink through little grass straws.
What I found interesting is the unconscious recognition of Light.. with direction… and qualities too yummy to ignore. I remember hearing guys talk about Light – about seeing Light. The wrap of a soft light. The triangles and shapes. I didn’t get it. But once the mind’s eye is trained to really see Light and it’s even more interesting counterpart, Shadow, it continuously evaluates the yummy factor in pretty much every scene it encounters. For me, I’ve just started seeing Light and Shadow… a couple years ago a couple brain cells clicked and I started taking note of it as I pass by random people on the street or watch folks on the train ride into work.
Light. Such an obvious thing to see… so easily taken for granted… and even harder to capture it’s infinite qualities.