Winter Vines

Winter Fog at Lake Sonoma

Yet one more time I was out in the Russian River Riparian zone getting my quota of wild, and it is wild out there.  The sun was out and the scene was just spectacular, but spectacular is a very subtle way.  It seems that light appears a little different depending on where one is located.  My location is North Sonoma County, land of vines and beauty.

Light seems different here as opposed to, say, the Sierra Nevada or the Anza Borrego desert, and it is also different season by season and day by day.

I have what is termed SAD or seasonal affect disorder.  What that means is that I am overly sensitive to the effects of light.  I am happy when it is sunny; I am sad when it is gray, and I live on a sliding scale between the two.

Spring Pond #2

Ice on Shadow Lake

Let me add, however that I find pleasure in all forms of light: Axis Light, Side Light, Back Light, Paramount Light, Rim Light, Soft Light, High Key Light, North Light, Shaded Light, Ambient Light, Foggy Light, Morning Light, Afternoon Light, Evening Light–light.

I am a musician, but I was first a photographer; I am a photographer, but first I was a musician.   I am not sure which one got me first, but I do know that I write music as I see, and that is in images.  I see light.  I feel light.  I experience light.

I started out saying that I was out in the Russian River Riparian zone getting my fill of wild and I was struck by the afternoon light.  There was moisture on the atmosphere to diffuse the low sun that was diffuse to begin with.  The fall coloration of vegetation was almost pastel yellows and greens.  The beauty was such that my heart felt like it would break, which is the nature of nature and the nature of beauty.

Cliff at No-Name Lake #2

SoftLight in the Riperian Zone

I once only liked and responded to black and white photographs, but over the years I have developed an appreciation for color, and the images I am sharing are both.  They were taken at moments in my life when light reached out and grabbed hold of me and pulled me up short.  Music does this as well, but this blog is about the effect that light has on my photographer’s soul.  Hilary



  1. So Wonderful to hear another artist with a Light-Bearing Soul talk about LIGHT… sometimes people look at me like I have 2 heads, and they have no idea what I’m talking about when I try to convey the power of light, all its moods, the affects moisture content has on the emotional response we have to a place, and a moment… I also think that the salt in California coastal air has a refracting quality that adds to the magic in places like the Berkeley Hills and Mendicino and Pacific Grove. Thanks for this Hilary. Would you mind if I quote you ? Or even share this blog entry in my workshops ? I’m always searching for ways in which others articulate what I see ! Holyday Blessings ~ Alexandra

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