Clarity of Light

Even though we are in a metropolitan center, a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, the air is crisp and clean. No apparent pollution softens the intensity of the afternoon’s light. We’ve just left the American Museum of Natural History after enjoying an exhibit of wildlife photography. Each photograph captured in fine detail, a moment in the life of the depicted animal. In one, a cougar, head dropped in the way they do when approaching in caution, appears to be within striking distance. Even the grains of fur on the predator’s back can be discerned.

I wondered at this artificial clarity and why it thrills us humans? Not having the skill or high-end camera required to capture such detail at a distance, I just try to post pictures that share what I saw when I took them. Are my photos more honest, or just mundane?

Back outside the museum, I realize that the clarifying light is giving me an opportunity to take very crisp pictures with my cell phone camera. The reality, for once, is as crisp as a museum-quality print.

4 thoughts on “Clarity of Light

  1. nikitashackleton

    Hi Dan, I just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog and your photos in particular. Do you take them all with your phone or a camera? Snow scenes tend to be difficult because of the light. For me, atmosphere and feeling are more important in a picture than detail. I’ve always been fascinated by Alaska but have never visited. The furthest north I’ve reached is Northern Scotland which is where I’m based now. Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip to the Capital. (You must be missing Aki!)
    Best wishes,

    1. Dan Branch Post author

      Thank you for the kind words. I almost always use a mirror-less camera when I am not traveling. I once visited the Oban area in May and found it very beautiful—like parts of Alaska but more settled.

  2. friedab2015

    Jouw of uw foto’s zijn heel bijzonder en heel mooi … Ik woon in Amsterdam en kom de deur haast niet meer uit van wegen de lockdown. Ik wil niemand voor de voeten lopen, ben zonder pandemie al lastig genoeg … Door te bloggen kom je nog eens ergens, toch … Amsterdam, 22 – 9 – 2020, 17.30 uur … Hollandse Zomertijd * *


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