Tripping the Light Fantastic

Ada’s comments on her newest photographic adventure:

“Dubai, March 2018, the sun set on the Bedouin camp in the desert of Dubai, alighting the area in soft blue-purple hues. A hundred eager faces, belonging to the tourists who have visited from afar, turn to the stage as a man enters and begins a tanoura dance. He spins faster, his weighed skirt splaying out, and when the purplish hues of the sky disappear, bringing in the night on the desert winds, his tanoura lights up in various colors and unique patterns. Hundred faces are captivated by the colors, meshing together into a string of Christmas LED lights as he spins. In that moment, I am reminded of a picture in the National Geographic magazine of man in motion, spinning and dancing, with quiet joy. The movement of these two men—the one in the picture, and the one dancing the lighted tanoura—was light, and joyous.

A week later, I found myself wandering around on a cold and blustery evening in London, a city that is so full of life and history. I wondered, ‘How do you capture the essence that is London?’ For a city that holds the same population as New York, it is quieter, softer, and more relaxed than the Big Apple. St. Paul’s Cathedral looms ahead, while in front of me a classic London taxicab and the red double-decker pass each other. The moment gives me pause, and suddenly the lightbulb goes off—showing movement, a smidge of a taillight or a quick pass through of a bus, will be the movement in an otherwise quiet place to show London’s liveliness.

And so an idea to experiment with light trail, or low-shutter speeds was born. It was time to take the lens off of immobile objects and focus on mobility. While the saying goes ‘stop to smell the roses,’ which seems to indicate that we should stop moving, I say keep on watching the movements around you, because actions do speak louder than words. By observing movement, we can learn much about the person conducting the movement, and about the world around us. It is in these moments of seeing the way a bus moves through a picture, or the way a person dances with fire, that we can truly appreciate what it means to have mobility, in whatever way we have it.”