The Photographer

Dawn- the first appearance of daylight in the morning: the beginning or rise of anything; to begin to be perceived.

My favorite time of day is and always has been dawn. Its cold serenity, and acute solitude, mingled with the warming hope of a rising sun brings a silent, but riotous exhilaration to my very being. To be in nature while most are sleeping, to experience the calm and quiet of the earth before the first rays of light demand attention, to hear the first chirping of birds as darkness gives way to light, I can not think of a better way to start my day.

As a nurse, I have had many jobs that required me to be awake in the wee hours of the morning, and though many of those roles were vastly rewarding and personally satisfying, nothing stirs my heart more than being a behind the camera.  Whether it’s the warm glow of the sun’s first rays reaching over the horizon giving chase to the darkness, the  drama of the pounding surf as the sun yawns and says goodnight blanketing the sky with red and pink vibrance, or the tranquility of the fog’s slow dance among the gently swaying giant redwood trees, I am enamored with the ability to capture a fleeting moment in time to share with others.

I picked up a camera a little over two years ago and now am rarely caught without it. In the short time I have been in the photographic field, I have had an image chosen by National Geographic and published as one of their “Daily Dozen”, been chosen as an “Image of the Day” by Outdoor Photographer Magazine, won awards in my local camera club and in regional competitions and been featured many times by local news agencies on social media. I have also been rewarded by camaraderie with other photographers in the field, some of whom have come along side to help and encourage me in significant ways. 

So, here in the dawning of my photographic journey, I consider myself successful, not in the accumulation of accolades, or the quantity of fans, but in doing something that resonates with my heart, in the great satisfaction of witnessing events in nature and capturing them as art to share. If along this path, a few others enjoy my art as well then we have made a connection through vision, and walked together down a picturesque path, even if only for an image. 

Dawn Jefferson RN, BSN, Photographer



The Name

Photography is about light. Photographers like to use the phrase “we paint with light” and the truth is, we do. Our cameras capture and record the available light. Sometimes that light is only barely discernible with the naked eye as in astro photography, but the light is there and if you leave the shutter open long enough, it can be captured. 

Besides the mechanical aspect of capturing light, our eyes are attracted to the light. When you look at an image pay attention to what your eye is naturally drawn to, where it wanders in a picture and you will see it follows the light. This is painting with light. Light is greatly enhanced by darkness; the interplay of light and shadow creates a show that excites our visual senses. Think of a cold sharp-peaked mountain enveloped with clouds from a clearing storm with the rising sun illuminating some of the clouds and mountains leaving the rest of the image in darkness.

When landscape photographers point their lens at a scene, they are trying to capture the light in such a way that the viewer experiences what they felt. They want to convey the story of what delighted them. In truth, every image captured is a light scape, a scene of light and its interplay with the subject. In choosing a name I wanted to encompass this significance, “de light” or “of light” and  "scape" the view of a scene. This combination is what I hope you see when viewing my art… de light scapes, delight scapes,  deLightscapes.