Archive for February, 2015

Happy: Christmas Eve, circa 1999

christmaseve

http://www.sobify.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/10-homely-living-spaces-beautifully-decorated-for-christmas-8-640×400.jpg

I’m one of the least domestic people you will ever meet … Which is strange, because when I think of “happy” lighting, I get imprints from my childhood of Christmas Eve night — with the tree lit up, a fire burning in the fireplace, and maybe the glow of a ’90s television playing The Santa Clause or Charlie Brown’s Christmas. I feel safe, carefree, hopeful for the presents to come the next day, and all the delicious food that my aunts and uncles would inevitably bring over the next day. Before I became painfully conscious of Christmas “materialism” that Charlie Brown so hated, or of the tensions in my family between this and that relative. I had not yet experienced loss or guilt. All I cared about in that moment was the warm glow of the fire and the Christmas lights, and how this lighting made our shag carpet warmer and cooshier than it would be on any other night.

hot

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This image is one of my favorites. It’s from a series of installations by Tim Etchells.

This photograph is immediately arresting. Etchell writes, to borrow a term, truisms, and photographs them in everyday situations to provide a bizarre narrative or context. This text, “You Will Live Forever” is searing, not only in its crimson neon light that seems to burn itself into the observer’s eyes, but also in the immediate introspection that it creates. It’s etched into the back of this store display and glows with a broiling heat as if someone had taken a ladle of magma and flicked it up on to a wall. The heat that this display creates seems to warm the two figures, mirroring the warm words of comfort that one appears to be offering the other.

Light Observation 3

1. 2/14/2014

2. Light in the backyard at a party

3. I was at a party on Valentine’s Day. I was standing in the backyard with my friend Craig, talking to a mutual friend of ours. I looked up and I saw that the sky was a kind of light mauve; it was cloudy and absorbing the light from the surrounding urban areas. The people standing around were hit with the light from the house, their faces half lit with bright fluorescent light, their other half in shadow. It started flurrying, and the bright white snow was illuminated by the light coming from the back step. The texture of the snow against the soft pink backdrop of the sky seemed fittingly romantic.

Hallway Light (Light Obv 3)

2/19, Top floor of Monroe Hall, 8 pm-ish

Light at the end of a hallway

I was at rehearsal. We had just gotten through warming up and had five minutes before starting our run through. Being in solitude helps me prepare, so I walked to the top floor of the building to get into character alone.

The halls were dark but the door was open so I stepped into the hallway. It was freezing cold. No one was up there so the heat wasn’t on. The hallways, formed in a square, were completely dark, except for a small pool of light at the end of each hallway. The setting immediately put me in the dark headspace required for the show. It was scary but the glow at the end of each hallway made me feel some sense of hope as I walked around. I kept wanting to move from the dark into the light and found myself rushing my steps, partially because I felt like a creature would grab me from behind, and partially because I wanted to feel some sense of hope to counterbalance the dark words I was reciting to myself, and I knew the presence of the light above me could immediately do that. It struck me how the very few lights in the presence of such darkness could make me feel that way.

The Heat

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Theme: Hot

Source: http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn302/DiaryDaysOfficial/17340_260343442759_799482759_313553.jpg

I think a big reason this picture feels so hot is because of the color saturation. Every color is intense. There are also some signals of the heat in the location the picture was taken in. The shadows indicate sunshine, and it’s clear by the girl’s outfit that she’s in a hot place. Something about it (the cowgirl boots, maybe?) makes me think she’s in the south–a place of oppressively humid heat. She’s drinking a red beverage. This is an instance where red has a cold association, as red drinks aren’t usually warm. Nor are they put in glass bottles.

Hot

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Photo by Peter Charney

THEME: Hot

DESCRIPTION: This is a candle found in a church in Edinburgh, Scotland. To me, this image represents “hot” not only because it’s a flame, but because of the warm color that exists throughout the photo. Since the flame is blown-out it makes it seem like it’s incredibly hot. Despite everything going on in the image, the colors pretty much range from oranges and reds, to other oranges and reds, to black. Practically every color present is on the warmer side of the color spectrum. For me it really provides a sense of comfort, as it feels like a more calm and heartfelt form of “hot.”

Photo Observation 3

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Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/80823321@N00/6862772320/in/set-72157629651638199

Theme: Hot

I wasn’t sure how to begin the hunt for photos this time around. The theme was broad and “hot” wasn’t something I felt confident typing into Google Image Search. So I scanned my memories for the hottest places I have ever visited. The winner is a rather long and tiring second grade field trip to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. (Fun fact: Close seconds are the walk along the reflecting pool in D.C. and a very hungry day in Epcot.)

This image is from vantage point of Little Round Top, overlooking Devil’s Den. This picture brings up sensation memories for me. I can imagine a tiny version of me, in a little red shirt emblazoned with a rhinestone version of the American flag and white shorts, kneeling on the floor of Little Round Top so that the stone building cools my knees and shins. I can feel myself dreading the shadeless walk ahead of me. The daylight over Devil’s Den is so white and unforgiving that I can picture myself there, too, sprawled under the shade of a rock until the chaperone calls us together for a brief history lesson. The nearly cloudless sky and the overlook of the wide nothingness has me hoping for the quick return of the air-conditioned tour bus.

Light Observation #3

1) 2/19, ~6:00pm, Lounge on 6th floor of Nassau

2) A sunset created shadows through window blinds.

3) It was what we call the “Golden Hour” in photography, meaning that the sun was that perfect orange color. I walked past the lounge and noticed a warm glow filling the entire room. I walked in and saw the blinds glowing a beautiful golden color, but when I turned around I noticed the shadow it was casting across the room. The beautiful striped shadow bounced off the white wall and filled up the entire room. I instragramed what I could. The neatest part was that when I came back five minutes later, it was completely gone. I was amazed by how fast light could change, and how briefly a moment like that could occur. It really made me appreciate how things exist in the moment.

Light Observation 6

1) Feb 16, ~10:30 PM; Winthrop University Hospital

2) Partially lit hallways

3) I was navigating the halls of the local hospital, of which I am completely unfamiliar. I was trying to find my way back to the entrance, and at each intersection of hallways I would look around to see if I could find clues to get back to the waiting room. It was the end of a long day and my contacts were getting fuzzy, so I wasn’t reading very well and had to rely on my memory of shapes and light to get me back. I noticed that my first instinct in my trip around the hallways was to take the most well-lit route. I was nervous about halls that weren’t well-lit. I felt like I had no place in being there. I got the same sense of nervousness when I passed under a section of lights that were off or had burned out. The trip made me think about how our sense of direction relies on light and how we can direct someone’s movement through the manipulation of light– even if the light never moves or changes. I also realized that visibility isn’t just an on/off switch that affects our understanding of the environment, but that varying levels of visibility can affect our emotional connection with our environment.

Photo Observation: Hot, Hot Arizona

monument-valley

 

My mom has a deep love for Arizona. The first “vacation” that baby Jesse ever went on was to Arizona — the Grand Canyon and Tucson specifically — when I was only 1. I went back in 5th grade with my family and was taken with how beautiful yet empty the state was. The air tasted differently there than it did in Connecticut: It was drier and dustier, and somehow older. This picture captures the heat and barrenness of the state, but also its loveliness.  The desert brush, which some might call ‘green,’ is really just a yellow with little hints of blue. The shadows falling into the crevices of the mountains, like wrinkles on an extremely old man, are indicators of how long these stones have been around.

 

 

https://beheld.files.wordpress.com/2011/10/monument-valley.jpg