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.
Alot of my blogs haven’t been turning up on the photography blog site…buuuut hopefully this one will!
The more I’ve been shooting and developing and as I explore more artist works via the internet I find I’m becoming increasingly obsessed and transfixed by faces captured in black and white. I get bored shooting and looking at nature and buildings…but faces, the bodies connected, emotions and stories that they can express through a single moment captured in shades of black and white! For example, the portraits of Richard Avedon…I’m interested in how he explores expression through a series or set of images (seems relevant to our Night & Day project too), but most of all I’m blown away by the power behind each captured face and gesture. I was also particularly struck by Ralph Eugene Meatyard’s photography. I was intrigued by the way he utilized nature/the scenery surrounding to communicate with the viewer. Sometimes the scenery offsets the figure/s (like in the masked portraits) creating a sort of juxtaposition, while other times the scenery emphasizes the emotion communicated by the figure/s. The framing in his work is interesting to me.
I’m loving shooting people…but I’m getting tired of shooting my housemates. If anyone would like their photo taken OR would like to bring some friends OR model clothes/dress up OR just mess around and take pictures I WOULD LOVE TO TAKE YO PICTURE and friends! AND I’LL MAKE YOU A PRINT!
Im friendly! If your interested message me- firstname.lastname@example.org
I checked out Danielle Tunstall’s work…woah. I liked how looking through her work there were alot of recurring themes and visual elements that gave her work a very cohesive feel, her style becomes very recognizable. I would imagine that is very important for a professional photographer…any artist of that matter strives, I think, to develop his/her personal artistic style so they may become identifiable in the art world. I also enjoyed her use of special effects (particularly demonstrated in the video on her website) to add to the gritty and age-worn feel of her work. What I was most attracted to in her body of work was her black and white portrait (perhaps because we are working in B & W and I am always drawn to faces). I liked the way she was able to capture such contrast in her B & W portraits…in the close-up portrait of the young boy, you can see and imagine the feel of each freckle that marks his face. There is also a gritty aspect to her B & W work. How is that achieved and controlled? I would love to try and capture the grit of life in my B & W work (particularly portraits).
OK…I hope Im doing this right and finally getting all caught up with everybody and reading your posts! I found this first reading assignment, likewise, helpful though a little overwhelming with all the technical terms to get straight. However, taking some notes and drawing a few little pictures to help me remember how the camera works and some techniques to try out totally helped me in the field…I felt more confident using my camera, and felt my eye was a little better informed.