Practice 2: Light & Shadows (Tools, Materials, and Processes pg 137-163)
The basis of photography is the transformation of light into an image. Both light and image are fluid fluctuating forms. Super cool to learn the origin of photography (or at least its foundational concept) and painting came about when a woman dew the outline of her lover’s shadow… first act of fixing light into image. Photography has everything to do with the manipulation of light (which is proving to be a tricky thing to master!). Path of light is determined by choices of level and direction. Light can be manipulated to flatten or shape objects and/or people; this can influence the visibility, mood, point of focus, distraction, provide sense of time, season, and/or era. Objects within a scene (called terminal points) also provide opportunities to play with light- they can influence the pathway of light, creating shadows, mirrors, texture, contrast, texture and whatever else one might achieve. The direction of the light source can have a great impact on depiction of the subject and/or the objects within a shot (how they appear, texture, contrast, etc.). This depends on the light source is directed at the subject and the location of the viewer or camera watching the scene. I found the discussion on The Path of Light: Color of Light (pg 147) particularly interesting. Objects appear to be certain colors due to their own coloring AND the color of the light falling on them. Light color varies depending on source and colors light must pass through before reaching its destination (color temp. of light measured using Kelvin scale). I didn’t know that ‘standard daylight’ refers to the sun at noon, a cool blue light (measuring around 5500K). I would assume that this changes due to season as well as geographical location. I wonder if there is an ideal location on the globe for photographers…a place where every season brings different, contrasting qualities of natural light to work with.
Theory 2: Light & Shadow (pg 109-136)
I like Plato’s metaphor a lot: the shadow as a metaphor for the incomplete, and (according to Plato) therefore flawed, nature of human knowledge. I never considered the significance of shadows before, yes they do provide us with information about the world (or information we infer) and I suppose they are somewhat ‘suspicious entities’, but I think they only keep us from the truth if we don’t ponder or attempt to see what’s making the shadow. Shadows foster fear only if we are ignorant of their origin…fear fosters ignorance. Why are most humans inherently afraid of the dark? I do agree with Bloom, that “Plato’s parable continues to inform human consciousness in its struggle with objectivity- in discriminating between appearance and significance.” (pg 110) Light and darkness have many connotations, appearing as metaphors and symbols in cultures around the world. It’s interesting to consider how human association with light and dark have changed, accompanying us throughout history…gives me a lot to think about as I try to fix light into an image.
Here are some beautiful photographs from the Burning Man Festival! They are gorgeous. Taken by Scott London.
I can’t seem to get the link to show up but here is the website: http://www.scottlondon.com/photo/burningman/index.html
The readings that we had to do was very informative. I was never really into photography and this readings has been teaching me more and more about the different textures and values light can create. I now know the difference between artificial light and direct light, as well as other sorts of light. Also another thing interesting to note was how on different spots or time, the colors of the surface of the thing you want to take pictures of can change colors! It was an interesting read indeed.
I liked that the reading led up to the technical aspects of lighting with a history of sorts. I enjoyed that many different examples of light and shadow are given, and how they can be applied to photography. The passage “Symbolism of Light and Dark” was cool to read. After reading that I felt like it was possible to achieve a more emotional connection to lighting then just using it as a technical thing. The technical part of the reading was informative and is good information to look back on or reference. This complimented the projects we have been working on nicely.
Jack Brauer has amassed a pretty impressive landscape portfolio! Throughout his collection, there are quite a few photo shoots that show the true value of shooting the same subject at different times of day/evening.