Light is Short

Light is Short

By |2018-07-15T09:04:39+00:00September 21st, 2011|Categories: Inspiration, Photography|Tags: |7 Comments

Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 50mm f/1.4, 1/125 sec at f/4.0, ISO 800 (both images)

This is the view from the window of my condo. I have an entire wall that is almost completely covered with windows (minus a few feet of drywall at the bottom) so it was pretty easy to spot the gorgeous golden clouds as the sun was rising. I had my camera nearby so I grabbed a few photos, then put my camera down and made coffee.

When I peeked outside five minutes later and noticed that all the color in the clouds was gone. It took only five minutes for the gorgeous, beautiful light to be replaced by boring normal-ness. If you’ve ever photographed landscapes or portraits outdoors you already understand that there is literally just a few minutes of this type of gorgeous light in any given day, the kind of light that glows orange and red and is so soft you would stand in it for hours if you could.

And don’t you just love all of the parallels with light & photography … and life? I titled this “cleverly” to mimic the phrase “life is short” because, well, it is. Why not rush outside with your camera when you see something beautiful to hold on to it for as long as you can? Why not get up at 4:00 am to head out to a gorgeous mountain and capture the sun as it rises?

We should do things every day that are filled with meaning, spend time with people we love and do things just because they feel good … because life is short. We should want to hold on to them as long as possible, really live for each moment … and not pass up on opportunities because we were too lazy, tired or scared. We should take more risks, find balance and be adventurous … the great moments in life pass by as quickly as the golden light of the morning sun, so don’t let them pass by without your camera (… or your heart … but they are kinda one in the same if you ask me).

About the Author:

Nicole S. Young is a professional photographer and published author whose love of photography and teaching has grown into an online business where she creates training materials and resources for other photographers. Nicole is best known for her books on food photography, but is widely versed in a variety of photographic genres, including landscape, travel, lifestyle, and even underwater photography. You can learn more about Nicole's work on her website,


  1. Larry Maupin September 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm - Reply

    Great post! Thanks!

  2. Wayne September 21, 2011 at 2:25 pm - Reply

    So very true. There’s a small farm near my home that has a pasture with 6 sheep. Countless times I told myself to capture some images, but I was always too …. The farm recently sold and the sheeps are gone.

  3. Donna Trussell September 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    So true! I’ve been photographing sunsets for a couple of years now. Sometimes I’m gardening, in horrible, dirty clothes. But I know that I’ve only got time to grab the camera. If I stop for anything, I’ll lose the moment forever.

  4. Rik Amar September 21, 2011 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    Indeed, Light is so short! I’ve been chasing the light ever since I picked up photography and if the light is flattering, I would love to seize it as much as I could and capture the moment in my viewfinder! Great post, Nicole!

  5. Brian Miller September 21, 2011 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    Lovely post, Nicole. And quite right, if you ask me. (I love that last part about one’s heart and one’s camera being the same.)

  6. Lance Drozda September 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Hi Nicole, great post! And I loved your photographic metaphore as it relates to life in general. In the same light (sorry…that was a pun!)…if you believe that we can only see in others and in the world we see in ourselves…photography really becomes a mirror of ourselves. I think that is why we can be so emotionally attached to the images we produce.

    Again, great blog!
    – Lance

  7. Taylor October 10, 2011 at 8:00 am - Reply

    I really like the contrast between the two pictures.

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