October 2016I was at a café one morning when there was a photoshoot going on around me. I didn't pay much attention to the busyness around me, but there was one scene that caught my interest. It was a moment when the photographer was about to snap a photo of the subject of the shoot, but (I imagine) judged that the photo wouldn't be a good one, hesitated, and stepped away from the camera.
He told the subject that he had to think for a while. What he was doing was assessing the structure of the light around him: the light coming from the windows, the light projected from the tables, walls, and floor, and the light that would eventually reach the camera.
It was then that it occurred to me that his main tool wasn't really the camera; it was the light around him. The main job of a photographer is essentially arranging light in a desired order. If there was another way to capture that arrangement, a camera would be obsolete, but the light would still be there.