Natural Light

Some of the features on this page require that JavaScript be enabled.
view previous artwork view next artwork
Evening Storm
Rain in the Patio
Leslie Gale Saunders, Saunders, photograph, photography, black and white photography, photographic print, gelatin silver print, landscape, light, surface and light, 2D art, two-dimensional, tonal contrast, value contrast, power of nature, metaphor, high-contrast, potted plant, patio, storm, water, lake,clouds,pole, rain, courtyard, archway

Leslie Saunders has built up a vast  catalogueA list which is an inventory of works in a gallery, museum, or other collection. It describes the works, and may contain articles discussing their history, and classifying them in other ways. It may be in the form of a file of cards (or an electronic equivalent), one card for each object, or in the form of a publication (usually a pamphlet or book), whether for a special exhibition or for all or part of a permanent collection.  (  of photographs over the course of his career. His photography is varied, as he regularly took pictures of landscapes, people, structures and natural events. The two photographs here represent that final category. These two photographs feature scenes that show ways that light can be combined with surface. Specifically, Saunders' surface is water, and the light he captures with his  cameraIn photography, a tool for producing photographs, having a lightproof enclosure with an aperture and a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate. In video, a device that receives the primary image on a light-sensitive cathode tube and transforms it into electrical impulses. ( Find out about 35-mm cameras at Wikipedia:  is bouncing off that water.

In Evening Storm, the photographer gives us a view of a coming rainstorm. The rippled surface of the lake and the dark grey, threatening clouds are signs of this, although the mood of this picture is given some hope by the sunlight that we can see just beyond the clouds. Looking at this photograph, we might assume that Saunders is showing us the chaotic power of nature.  He is proving, through his photography, that nature is unpredictable and wild, raining steadily on us the minute before the sun comes out from behind the clouds. The pole on the right side of the image suggests that there is a human presence in this environment; the fact that this pole is present and still standing could be a  metaphorUsed in art as in speech. A term, regularly used for one object, is used for another and suggests a likeness between to the two.  for people trying, successfully, to stand against the forces of weather, nature and time.

In Rain on the Patio, Saunders provides another view of water and rain. In this image, rain falls down through an opening in a courtyard, and onto the giant leaves of a potted plant. Even though this is a still image, we can tell from the amount of rippling on the surface of the water that there is a lot of rain falling. This is proven also by the wide streams of water running from the roof and into the courtyard. In this photograph, the rain might be characterized as life-giving water. Rather than falling simply onto the landscape, it falls into a container and feeds a plant. The fact that the picture has been taken through an archway also suggests that we are looking at something precious, something worth protecting by having a building around it.

additional resources Things to Think About
  • The pole in Evening Storm suggests that humans have left a mark on the landscape Saunders is photographing. Is there anything else about this picture that suggests humans have been here?
  • In both of these high-contrast images, light is coming through an opening (in a building or the clouds) from above. Can you think of anything this might represent? How is this similar to other representations of light that you have seen? How was it used in those other cases?
Studio Activity
Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.

Light and water

Leslie Saunders’ Evening Storm and Rain on the Patio feature scenes that show ways that light can be combined with surface.

  • The water does not have to be in a natural setting, and could be resting in or on any surface or material.
  • You could even pour or spray water onto different surfaces to see how the water and the light react differently.

Humanity and nature

  • The traces can be anything left behind by a human action or a natural event
  • Are there traces that you can find that could be either natural or human?
  • What is the difference between these two kinds of traces?

Author unknown.  ‘Leslie Gale Saunders.’  Saskatchewan and the Visual Arts, Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists.  Retrieved from the Internet on June 10, 2008 from:

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning