We all know this type of light. It saturates those moments when we feel we ‘should’ be exactly where we find ourselves. It is present in more than its share of magical movie moments. From Terrance Malick’s classic Days of Heaven, to more recent endeavors, this light is indicative of a deeply personal yet also extra-personal sense when we feel at one with our surroundings. However, such familiarity in a virtual sense gives rise to the question of what created this particular aesthetic. Was it the filmmakers themselves who conjured up a method for extracting and projecting a droplet of the sublime? Or, perhaps was it we watchers who having experienced such light, eventually demand such imitations from the image-makers in our societies? Regardless, if this question itself rings true, you have likely experienced such illumination at one point or another.
Describing these moments is a tricky, if not impossible task. It may instead only be possible to talk of its effects, of the way which it simply is. For, this light can make even a discarded candy wrapper or warehouse’s rusty exterior seem suddenly transcendent. Being within it is much more apt an expression than witnessing it alone. For, when it hits, there is no room for objective labeling. In such moments, only light is.
It is now October and the harvest is in. Most have spent this past week reconnecting with parts of themselves which have slowly been neglected over the stifling weeks of work these past few months. So, with this week off to enjoy not just a thanksgiving for what we have seemingly earned, but also for what we now have, what better time to slow down and lean towards a simpler beauty. These shortening days bring with them those elongated side rays which reveal, for several minutes, the beauty which we have been living all of this time. I hope that we can all catch a glimpse in the remaining few days of this years Chusok (Thanksgiving) break. We have likely earned it. And, if not, it is here all the same.
[The image above was taken with a Nikon FE2 shooting Velvia 100 at dusk.]
(Photo and Text by Marty Miller)