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Heading Home in Flat Light

Thursday, June 27, 2013

We move on. The light has changed, flattened as the sun has gone behind a layer of clouds. It reveals the landscape without shadows. Flat light can be the best for flower photography, for many things. I love it for bird photography. No dark branch shadows bisecting my tanager, thank you.

The mist that decorated the holler earlier is gone now.

As are the mackerel clouds of morning. I'll go back this way. The roof of the Toothless Lady peeks out over the hay.

 There she is, a cup plant (Silphium) standing guard, showing its lovely perfoliate leaves and bud a-coming.

In the flat light, her ravaged form shows up even better, set off by the smoky blues of breathing plants. I'm told that the blue of distant hills is caused by the haze of hydrocarbons,  byproducts of photosynthesis.

Artists call the blueing out of far horizons "atmospheric perspective." Things get bluer as you go farther away. I remember my painter friend Jim Coe, who has actually had schooling in painting, complimenting me on a landscape. "You're organizing your greens very well." I still love that, though I had to ask him what he meant at the time. He meant that I was dulling out my greens appropriately as they moved from the foreground to the back.

Flat light reveals the Toothless Lady's contents, amongst them a Barcolounger and a galvanized washtub. 

It's time to go home, in flat light, over these rumpled hills.

Field daisies, red clover, and crown vetch. Not a one of them native, but lovely nonetheless, especially in this light, at this hour. Black dot on curve: leading the way.


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