Things to watch #1: 'Tales by Light'

I don't have a television. My grandparents gave me their old one, but I figured since there's rarely anything on it and I mostly watch Youtube anyway, I could use the space for something else.
Later on, when I was ill and bored, I decided to join video-on-demand services to entertain myself. 

I will admit that most series I have watched so far, I have only watched because I could. I would not buy them. (Or, on the other extreme, I have bought them already but am too lazy to get up and get the DVD.) It is very rare for a series to surprise me and make me fall in love with it so much that I want to have it. And of course, the one time it does happen, it is an Australian documentary that is not available as a DVD at all... just my luck.

'Tales by Ligh' - available on Netflix.
Follows photographers and documents their thoughts behind a picture.

The reason I want to own the National Geographic documentary series 'Tales by Light' by Australian filmmaker Abraham Joffe is that it is an amazing tool for both learning and inspiration, showcasing extremely talented artists who are experts in their chosen medium. 
'I don't think it really matters what you're photographing. Photography is about composition and communicating. [...] It might be nature photography, but that doesn't mean that you can't create an art piece at the same time.' - Peter Eastway 
As an artist, looking at the process of of other artists is always fascinating, but learning about artists in other disciplines is particularly educational.

When seeing the challenges photographers face, experiencing the way that they develop their ideas, or listening to their thoughts about their craft, it is great to compare and contrast them to your own.
'It's a simple shot; you wouldn't think so much can go into one thing, but for me, for my own sanity and my own soul, it's just this fulfilment.' - Krystle Wright
It is important to understand how other artists experience art. After all, art is about communicating ideas. And a looking at other disciplines can provide you with a fresh view of your own.
'For me it's  [...] the graphic nature, it's the patterns. It renders the scene into something much more like a painting in my mind. 
So when you have a subject, and light, and atmospheric conditions  [...], it just comes alive in terms of the graphic nature of it, and that's really the first thing I ever want to shoot - the art of a subject.' - Art Wolfe


The wonderful thing about 'Tales by Light' is that it lets the photographers tell their own stories. It lets them share the ideas and motivation behind their work, and helps them communicate to the viewer what they're trying to capture.

The cinematography is excellent, yet never tries to overshadow the photographs, which shows you how much can be communicated with just one picture.
The music is remarkable as well. I watched it with subtitles to get the quotes right, and the music was only ever referred to with one of two adjectives: 'gentle' and 'uplifting'. Where do you still get TV shows like that?

The best thing about 'Tales by Light' is getting to meet artists who are passionate about their art. Their love for their subjects and their craft comes through in every single episode. And seeing other people being passionate about something always reignites ones own passion too.

'I expect to be doing this forever. I can't really imagine stopping. It's what I love. It's who I am. And there are far too many places in the world still to see.' - Richard I'Anson


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