Light, obviously, is basic to painting; more accurately, light effects. As I go around nowadays I am much more conscious than previously of patterns, colours and shapes to which the eye is drawn, often by contrast in light. I used to photograph these as aides memoires, as others sketch, to store the images away with the intention of using them one day in a painting. Now I photograph them for their own sake, though memories of them may one day influence a painting or a part of one. Today serves as a good example of this.
Today, albeit bitter chill, has in fact been a corker: a brilliant, heatless sun in a cloudless sky all day has provided welcome contrast after weeks of largely dull, grey and wet weather. The ‘Georgian’ village of Orford fronting on to Orford Ness (where the lighthouse of my previous blog stood out sharply against the blue horizon) supplied some excellent light contrasts. In the churchyard, as I visited mid-morning, sun happened to be catching full-on the narrow, southern edges of the many gravestones, creating an almost 3-D effect of reflected and darkened light:
A few minutes later, I took two photographs from the same spot on the quay: one photograph was slightly to the north of the low-slung sun south eastwards over the darkened channel to the Ness; the other was some 60 degrees round towards the north but over the same channel, actually the River Ore. What a contrast in light and its effects: