When the subject is light … itself
Photography, the word, means writing with light … what happens when the writing is about light itself: natural or artificial, filtered, modulated or reflected?
I think it is about the setting of a certain mood, photographically speaking, through exposure control, through tonal contrast and gradation, etc. that mood can be neutral, mysterious, dramatic, playful and/or artful at the same time.
From a fire in the sky to a caressing night light.
That is the order of presentation and discussion of the seven images of this post.
Where is the fire?
Of-course the sun is where it is, a cosmic ball of fire the light of which, when filtered through atmospheric phenomena such as clouds combined with the angle at which it traverses them, will produce the dramatic effect of a distant fire, smoke and all!
Spring afternoon back lighting
The crispness of the air is reflected in the jagged backlit building roof line against a cool afternoon clear sky, the light of which is brought down so to speak, by reflective roof edges and street lights, to be picked up eventually by the shiny plants.
Venetian blind filtered light
The shadows of the blind blades have been allowed to playfully run across a loosely draped material revealing each fold and crease in an almost liquid dance-like manner.
Snow-covered yard under spot lights
The undulating surface of the spot-lit snow cover gives it a cotton like ethereal appearance, out of which trees, fences and building columns seem to sprout.
Direct and reflected light through a window
When coming through, or being reflected by a pane of glass, light will produce a superposition of images that will include exterior items such as buildings, trees or the headlights of a passing car, and interior items such as kitchen equipment and the photographer … note the spot-lit touch of blue of the Turkish coffee maker … all in an artful out of focus.
The light catching water filled bowl
Standing water is always horizontal even when its container is sloped as in this case . The shiny circular edge of the standing water, the immersed spoon and its shadow, and the reflection of the wall mounted neon light, all produce an accidentally playful visual ballet of overlapping shapes
Caress of the night light
In the 5-am darkness of my living room I catch shiny spots on the back support of the rocking chair and the edges of a bookcase, the rest of these appearing to be caressed by the soft night light … underexposure allows it all to come out of the surrounding darkness.
When I said Bye-Bye to 2020 in a previous post, I ended it intuitively, in a close-up photo of a candle flame with the caption “there will still be light” … it seems I tried to show this, here, in those images.
(All images by Maurice Amiel)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Maurice Amiel, M. Arch. (U.C. Berkeley) is retired professor of Environmental Design at the School of Design, University of Quebec at Montreal, where he was involved mainly in environment-behaviour teaching and applied research projects. In order to promote environmental awareness, he has turned after retiring to documenting and writing about various physical and human agents contributing to a sense of self, place and sociability ... I wish to add to my interests the fundamental role of light in photography and the visual structure of all 2D forms of artwork.
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