Understanding Light: Patience

Adirondack Canoe

I waited, patiently, for the clouds to pass in front of the sun for this image.

Understanding light along with the patience to study and wait for the light to be just right is a key element to creating images others will enjoy. The image above was taken using Kodachrome 200 slide film, two decades ago while on a multi-day canoe trip, with a friend, in the Adirondacks of New York. Over the years it has been one of my most popular sellers.

The image was not a pre-planned set-up. My camping buddy had risen earlier than I did that day and when I heard him paddling about, I unzipped my tent to the chilly morning and saw the sun ablaze over the mist-covered lake. Once I set up my tripod I found I could not get the angle I wanted on the scene, and as I played I took just a few images. It was film after all.

Adirondack Canoe - full sun

This image was how the scene appeared when I first set up my tripod.

As I watched my friend paddle around a bit, the glare from the sun’s reflection was very prominent. However, I noticed that the clouds were moving slowly east and as I waited patiently for the right position over the sun, I told my friend to put his hat back on. A small detail, but well worth adding. I took a couple more images. Film, remember? and was happy with this final image… clouds helping to reduce the sun glare. The mist over the lake. My friend, paddling the canoe in his favorite hat.

–Kevin Loughlin

Nikon N8008s
Tokina 20-35 @ 35
Kodachrome 200
Exposure info not recorded

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