Reading Response

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.

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