Motivated by a reverence for the intertwining of life and beauty, international photographers give insight to the photography process in Netflix’s 2015 original series, Tales by Light. Ranging from landscape and marine photographers to those seeking glimpses into foreign cultures, the Australian series seeks to explain the inspiration behind each shot and the story they tell.
In each episode’s commentary, photographers explain some aspect of working with nature, governments, locals, and even history so that they can obtain the image they want or need, or the one that comes to them. More than just the photographer and his subject have a say in the final piece of art. Cooperation and close interaction must happen between shy or enormously dangerous subjects, location, as well as national, legal, and private civilian matters for location permission to take photos in restricted areas.
Naturally, since it is a show about photography, the images are beautiful and there is a tone of awe at the intricacies of animal and human natures, but there is a noticeable lack of actual technical information about photography itself as one makes their way through the series. It seems to focus more on the photographer’s personal process and inspiration in his photography, how his art interacts with him and he with it. Here and there, show writers and the featured photographer sprinkle in some technical information, but it really strives to connect story to person.
The show creates an aesthetic worthy of a series about capturing and manipulating light and image so that its fullest potential is eminent in the final product. This is not surprising since the show is partially funded by Canon, but the show portrays each beast, water drop, festival dance, or praying soul in a way that causes the viewer to feel, and to be absorbed by the moment. Tales by Light features photographers such as Art Wolfe, Peter Eastway, Eric Cheng, and Jonathan and Angela Scott. This is a laid back watch with only one 6-episode season, each episode being between 25-30 minutes long. It is currently available Netflix.
Why it’s worth the binge: Contains gorgeous wildlife shots, human connection to art and nature, and offers a glimpse at other cultures, with a storyteller aspect.
– Kelly Gatewood
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