The shifting nature of light

"For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at any moment." Claude Monet

Standing before Monet's Waterlilies in the l'Orangerie in Paris, it is impossible not to be awed by the power of light to change. It is an epic series dedicated to capturing as many beautiful moments as possible, from Monet's perfectly sculpted corner of the world.


 Abbey courtyard, Mont Saint-Michel

Abbey courtyard, Mont Saint-Michel


The Impressionists were defined, in part, by their mutual interest in the fleeting moments of everyday life. For Monet, Pissarro and Sisley, nothing changed a place more than the shifting nature of light. Monet painted multiple artworks of the same scene at different times of the day, and pushed the boundaries of reality with colour and gesture. Pissarro's depiction of light changed depending on his emotional attachments. Sisley was content to observe more natural conditions of light, but all had in common a drive to understand how life can alter from one moment to the next, depending on the direction of the sun's rays.

At Mont Saint-Michel, after wandering the dark rooms of the abbey on a solitary audio tour, I emerged into a secluded courtyard in the failing light of a stunning spring evening. Upon seeing the dramatic display of the sun's rays on the wall of the abbey, I understood suddenly why people believe in higher powers. For a few minutes, the courtyard was radiant and tinged with an otherworldly sublimity impossible to name. I, like the Impressionists, felt a need to capture and remembered that light. 

In a moment as perfectly timed and brilliantly fleeting as that, it's hard to believe life is just a random series of events. That is the power of light and its shifting nature— it can make you question everything you think you know.

Photography by @ketcher_f


Planning a holiday to France? Check out our Paris—Le Marais travel guide, part of our European Dreamer collection, featuring some of our favourite little-known hangouts and hidden gems, in some of the most amazing places on earth.