Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Something About The Light

~ There is something about the late afternoon light that seems to be uniquely Australian – especially when you are out in the country.

On my recent road trip to Sydney, I slept in the back of my trusty station wagon four times. Twice going over and again on the return trip. Each evening I had an opportunity to sit and watch the sun dropping behind the western horizon, and each evening it did so in the form of a magnificent golden orb which was truly stunning to see.

While the sunrises didn’t seem to be quite as beautiful, they too were worth braving the almost freezing morning temperatures to watch and wait for.

The colour coming through the huge gum trees, and the quality of the light filtering through the eucalyptus leaves is quite exquisite. I think is has something to do with the way the late evening light refracts and reacts with the red dust particles that hang in the air. The dust is kicked up by the constant traffic moving along the major highways, and of course, by the farm machinery being used to plough massive acres of countryside in readiness for the new planting season.

During the heat of the day, you don’t notice the dust, but when the light from the waning sun hits it at a particular angle, and at a certain time of the day, it takes on another quality altogether.

Many artists have tried to capture this light in their art, and but few have succeeded.

IMAGE: Highway Sunset, by Jim Lesses

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