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02 April 2013

Of fading light

Light is a funny and tangible thing. We can use it to describe our feelings and emotions. When we feel good we say we are in a bright and sunny place. When we are sad and troubled we are in a dark place where all the lights have suddenly gone out. Just as we tend to feel great on beautiful days and less great on yukky days.

Photographers have an extra strong connection to light. We get excited when the light is pretty, euphoric and inclined to twist and turn in our airplane seats when the light does something amazing! Even when we do not have a camera in our hands!! And we get cross and moody when the light is poor.

When the light is good we feel like we can conquer the world and produce glitteringly beautiful images. Of sparkles and halos in a child or person's hair. Of a special gleam and iridescence in a horse's coat, or shimmers and reflection in water, or on a smooth surface. Of shadows and highlights, which we can use to be all artistic with and all the wonderful colour that comes with pretty light.

When the light is dark, gloomy and poor we worry about dull and flat images without a single sparkle. We curse the added 'noise' in our photographs and the trickeries of depth of field, and unwanted movement that we do not desire.

There are firm noises that the ATC is looking to run the TJ Smith Stakes, in what will be the Famous Pony Black Caviar's next race, as the last or 2nd last race. At perhaps 5.10pm instead of around 2pm like in previous years. Daylight saving will be finished. Sunset is at 5.35pm.

In the long term it will be the images taken that day which the public will remember the occasion by. In 20 years time the strongest memories of her 2nd visit to Royal Randwick and hopefully her 25th victory will be through the still photographs and video footage from the day.

I find this decision a lamentable one. We will not be able to produce an image such as this from her 1st TJ Smith. And if they press ahead with the plan I think that is a great shame.

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