Archive for March 2nd, 2012

Light Observation

It was Monday morning at around 7am and Abbie and I were walking back towards our dorms from the academic side of campus. It was that time of early morning when the sun’s rays hit the earth at a low angle, creating pronounced shadows.

We had just come out of the student center, and as we approached the random colorful cubes that sometimes provide a shield from the wind when waiting for the blue beetle, we saw a truly remarkable shadow. The shadow was shaped like the part of a tree where the first branch stretches out from the trunk. It matched perfectly the shape of the tree behind the cubes, yet was being cast by the bushes in front of it. The bushes seemed small and unimportant in comparison to the striking shadow and tree behind it. So the effect became one of the tree’s shadow being somehow projected in front of the tree on this cube, a physical impossibility, but a connection the human mind is ever so willing to perceive and accept.

Photo Observation

Photographer: Anglolo Manetti, National Geographic Photo Contest 2011

Theme: Single Light Source

This photo is a beautiful example of what a single, visible light source can do. The dust in the air of the canyon allows the beam of light to become visible as it streaks down from above. The dust is swirling in the light, creating a softness and mystical quality to the beam. It is as though some magic or higher power has sent the light, a living organism, down into the darkness.

Light Observation #5

DATE-TIME-LOCATION: February 23rd, about 8:45pm, 21 Clinton Street, NY–The Living Theatre

OBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION: In an interactive theatre performance, as “Joan of Arc” was “burning at the stake,” a spotlight shines from one corner of the room to the other, lighting Joan of Arc and shining directly at me. I believe the light has a red gel, but I can’t tell for certain because the light is near blinding me.

SUBJECTIVE DESCRIPTION: This was a very strange moment that invoked several emotions. First, I felt awkward, very singled out, almost as though every eye was on me, even though I knew logically that no one was looking at me instead of the actor in front of me. Still, there was no way to shake the feeling that I was under the microscope. The other very notable reaction was a sort of fear.  Because the light was hitting me so directly in the eyes (and there was not enough space for me to move out of it) and the room had been relatively dark for the majority of the performance I was blinded, seeing spots, and it made the illusion of Joan “burning” seem so much more real. It was as if I was seeing a real pyre, and something about being in that direct light alone made me want to shy away, as if from the heat of a raging fire.

Photo Observation #5: Single Light Source

Photographer: George Hurrell

THEME: Single Light Source

DESCRIPTION: A lot of things come to mind when I think of a single light source; something creepy, something mysterious, someone or something important, illusion, or perhaps movement. When I began searching for images, I wanted to find something very unique depicting movement or creating an illusion, but when I came across a series of black and white “glamour shots” on Pinterest, I couldn’t get them out of my head. This is an image of Natalie Cole, taken in the 1980’s, but the very styled spotlight (along with the wardrobe/hair) whisks you back to the Old Hollywood of the 30’s and 40’s. I absolutely love the films from that era, and something about black and white stirs my imagination; it makes it all about the people, not about the colors. There is no red to make you feel love, the acting has to do it.  Most of all, I love that era and this image because the focus is beauty in the face. There is no Victoria’s Secret sprawl, there is simply the admiration of a woman’s face. Surprisingly, this single light, which could easily create a one dimensional and unappealing image makes Ms. Cole look soft and feminine; the shadows emphasize the soft curve of her jawline, her full lower lip, and her full lashes.

Light Observation #5

1) Thursday March 1st, 2012 – 10:00 pm – Alliance Hall

2) Outside my Window, I peer onto the Hempstead Turnpike where four police cars have gathered their light clashing brightly and quickly.

3)  The Lights strobe in a pattern, red blue, red blue with white in between and it’s weird how to some people, these may look like party lights, but to us, we automatically think police lights which is immediately associated with danger and accidents. Still, it is quite rhythmic and chaotic at the same time, three of the same beat playing at different times.

Photo Observation #5

2) Joshua Raymund (

3) Theme: One Light Source

4) This Tunnel looking thing, with a man at the end is actually a paper towel roll with a figurine at the end with a lamp illuminating the figure from behind. I love this image because you could easily be fooled into believing that this was a full scale man inside a tunnel behind him. This is because he is being backlit, and only a silhouette is presented. Another thing I love about this is the way that the shadows cling on to the folds from the tube, it’s something seldom noticed about a paper roll, but this image catches it quite nicely.

Photo Observation #5 – The Wiener is…

Edgard Garrido/Reuters –

Single Light Source

This dog seems trapped, limited to the space that the light touches. He stands out in his red outfit, while surrounded by the monotonous businessmen at the top. The area is like a spotlight, the dog is the topic of this photo. He may not pick the best outfits, but it is this outfit and this lighting that makes the dog a hot subject. Design Choices. The dog seems confused on where to go, where does he walk to, can he escape? There are so many questions that could be running through this dogs head. I don’t think this dog is sad. The light is natural and the illumination gives a positive tone. The shadows of the business men are reaching out towards the dog, but just barely miss him. The sun is glowing vibrantly behind the businessmen, casting these long shadows. There is a battle between the dogs and the shadows, but the dog, with his vivacious costume, is winning. I guess he is the WIENER! (bad pun, sorry)


Lighting Moment #5

1. Thursday February 29th 1:00am Lowe 201

2. Street lamps on Adams quad shining in the windows

3. Due to the time of night and clouds the light seemed to be contained within the four buildings around the quad and when that go let into the classroom there were so many angles that the shadows overlapped making the wall look more like a forest rather than just one tree’s shadow. I liked this moment because I first saw it as spooky but as I saw each branch’s shadow it became mysterious, demonstrating the multiple impressions of shadows.


Photo Observation #5


Source: <>

Theme: Single Light Source

I do love me some chiaoscuro.  When I began looking for photos with a single light source, I was instantly drawn to the black and white photos I discovered.  The best thing about black and white is that the photography becomes all about the light.  Film noir, chiaoscuro, however these element are interpreted, The play of light and shadow is the simplest thing a lighting designer can do, and many times to the greatest effect.  In this case, the source of the light is unclear, but the cast of the shadow gives us the angle and the intensity of the light.  The crossed shadow is sharp across her face, suggesting an intense light that doesn’t have a change to diffuse or illuminate “her” face from any other angle.  The focus of the photograph draws your right to the face, where the most compelling contrast of light and shadow takes place, directly on top of the most compelling element of any human (real or fake) body.

Photo Ob #5


Flickr, Luca Bettarini

3. One source

4. When  you strip things down to one vantage point you assume that you need to see the image but what I like about this is that it is lit from behind which you would assume would make the subject in shadow. This is the exact opposite the shadows is what make the front details come out. The thin spots in the rine create contrast with the thicker areas. One source eludes some mystery and simplicity which can be taken in any direction in a lighting design.