Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Mood

The train won’t be on time.

The vegetation has long taken over these abandoned tracks.

I’m standing here as the sun goes down and this incredibly warm light washes over me. In the background, everything lits up like a giant bonfire.

I discovered these abandoned train tracks somewhere on the border between Belgium and The Netherlands. Most probably, they were used to transport coal from Limburg towards the nearby industrial cities. This former mining area is now a national park.

Sofia’s topic for The Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is “mood”.

Backlit: Using Light to Add Emotion and Storytelling to Photography

I often surprised myself using backlighting when photographing landscapes. There was no calculation involved. It was spontaneous and intuitive. I just felt like turning toward the sun and working with the light as it came through the early morning mist and through the trees.

Being in the forest at the break of dawn and waiting for the first sun rays. Feeling that raw freshness as if everything has just been born and all the possibilities are there, still to unfold. I cannot compare this to anything else.

Backlighting can add a layer of mood and emotion to a photograph. It can add to its storytelling potential. The light coming from behind the subject can create a halo-like effect around them. This can convey a sense of mystery or highlight the subject’s silhouette, adding to the visual interest of the image.

It comes as no surprise that famous photographers have used backlit subjects to great effect in their work. For example, Annie Leibovitz often uses backlit subjects in her portraits to create a sense of drama and emotion. In her portrait of Bruce Springsteen, Leibovitz uses backlighting to create a sense of drama and tension. The light streams in from behind Springsteen, casting his face in shadow and creating a moody and atmospheric image that tells a story of a rock star on the edge.

Backlighting can also be used to add depth, texture, and dimensionality to an image. In his photograph “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico”, Ansel Adams uses backlighting to create a stunning image of a moon rising over a landscape. The light of the setting sun streams in from behind the mountains, casting them in shadow, creating a sense of depth, and leading the viewer’s eye back to the foreground.

Backlighting can also be used to enhance storytelling. In his photograph of a family crossing a river in India, Steve McCurry uses backlighting to emphasize the dramatic nature of the scene. The backlighting creates a sense of movement and adds to the feeling of being in the moment. The image tells the story of a family’s struggle to cross the river and highlights the harsh realities of life in India.

Posted for Ann-Christine’s Lens-Artists Challenge

The Glow

The birds they sang
At the break of day
Start again
I heard them say
Don't dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in

(from Leonard Cohen - Anthem)
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Smells like spring

There is no way of attaching smells to photos or videos as of yet. But smells are a big part of how we experience places, relations, and time.

Smells have an emotional footprint. I go through a forest and there are minute changes to the cocktail of smells I am exposed to. I react emotionally to these changes way before I am aware of them. These smells speak directly to a part of my brain that is much older than my prefrontal cortex.

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A Year In 12 Photos

This is my last post for 2022. December is often a month of reckoning, revisiting, and trying to make sense of what happened.

I need to accept how things are in order to go ahead and be prepared for how they could be.

I need to make peace with how things are in order to be able to turn them into what they could be.

Aren’t we all?

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The Call of the Mountains

This week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, hosted by Amy, is all about mountains.

In the mountains, I’ve felt at peace, exhilarated, grateful, exhausted, scared, lost. I walked endless trails that took me way out of my comfort zone. I found myself up on the mountain, in the wild, as it was getting dark, wondering how will I make it back down. I found myself in danger (just because I’ve put myself in danger) and felt my life hanging on a thread. I found myself so incredibly at peace with everything out there, me included. I felt that I belong.

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Single Photo Stories: Autumn Sun

There’s something discreetly glorious in this lazy October sunset.

Backlit fallen leaves and mushrooms. The almost imperceptible breeze. The buzz of insects slowly rising through the forest like a mist.

I am sitting in a small forest clearing with the sun on my face. There’s nothing I can add to the scene, nothing that can be improved. I am only witnessing the moment.

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