Archive for March, 2015

Lighting Observation: 3/24/15

My friend Justin is a photographer of very eccentric (often macabre) tastes. His latest exhibit in Calkins was themed around 1980s underground gay culture in NYC. In the room he was given, he set up what looked like a trashy apartment from the mid 1980s, complete with a Fabulous Pop Tarts CD playing on a boombox, a leopard print bed spread, bottles of cheap alcohol, milk crates, lewd magazines, and a dusty upright mirror — not to mention the photographs of meat, isolated stills of the male anatomy (some mine), and kinky toys.

Above all, what set the scene for me was the lighting: An old desk light (shown in the picture), like one my dad had at our old house, sitting on a red milk crate, illuminated the room, making everyone a little purplish. Just from the way the light hit the bed spread, and bounced off the old mirror, I could imagine what this seedy place would smell like, what the owner would sound like if he answered a phone, what his refrigerator would look like. Justin did an other-worldly job in creating this atmosphere.

(PS: I have NO clue why I am making that expression in this picture?!)

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Shadow: Gregory Crewdson


Above is a photograph by Gregory Crewdson, whose works we looked at briefly in class. Talk about a powerful image that uses shadow. Here we see this young woman scrutinizing her body in the mirror (her lover, whose feet we can just barely see on the bed — is he asleep?). The room is bathed in a cold, dull light from the window, the lamp, and some light source in the hall. And the darkest part of the photo is where the woman stands — Crewdson lit this so that she would cast a dark, amoeba-like shadow on the ground around her feet. The two reflections we see of the woman, and her body (contorted-looking, as her neck is dropped and at an angle) add a jarring quality.

crewdson plan view


Photo Observation

shadowThis photo, although it shows a diversely colored lighting scheme, is also a good example of shadow. The interior of what looks to be the restaurant is almost dark on the inside, although just outside the window we can see multiple neon signs. Inside, the table and bench seats are bathed in darkness, with only their basic forms illuminated by the light filtering in through the window. The juxtaposition of the intense lights towards the middle/upper part of the image and the dark shapes in the lower half creates a sharp contrast of hyper nightlife and sleepy mystery.

lighting key



Photo Observation 8


My roommate took this.

I originally took this photo of my using my computer for another class, but the lighting happened to be spectacular AND fit the photo theme for this week. I’m very lucky.

The shadows in this photo make this particular moment seem intense. Although I was pretending to draw and not actually drawing, the lighting focused on the work area makes it seem like I have been up all night and the shadow behind me gives me the impression that the project was somehow the most important one I’ve ever done.




Photo by Peter Charney

Searching for a good image for the theme “Shadow,” made me realize that I really don’t use a lot of shadows in my photography. I did find this image, which I think is a really interesting take on the theme. The shadow in this photo is in this tunnel. There is no light reflecting off anything in the tunnel, so it is pitch black. Our eyes are drawn straight into the darkness. We fear the unknown.

Sonic Shadow


Theme: Shadow


I love the perspective on this. The way the semi-ovals change in size reminds me of a sonic boom, but if looked at long enough, many things can be found in the cone-shaped path of light. Because the light source is sunlight and it’s coming from everywhere, the shadows from the arches are responsible for creating the shapes.


Choke Hold


Photo by Rych Curtiss

Theme: Shadow

This photo is from a Hofstra production of ANGEL STREET. My lighting design featured footlights and light from odd angles in an attempt to create shadows throughout the production inspired by film noir. In this picture the shadow on the wall mimics the meaning of the lines being said; one character is holding evidence in his hand which he says will send the other character to the noose while the shadow appears to be choking him.

Lighting Key:


Light Observation #5

1) 3/19 11:30pm. Ohio River, Cincinnati, Ohio.

2) Cincinnati skyline reflecting in the water.

3) One of the best parts of the USITT trip to Cincinnati was one night when we walked a bridge and crossed over into Kentucky. We were able to go down to the water and look back at the bridge and the skyline of the city across the water. As vibrant and alive as the city lighting felt, the water was even more illuminated. All of the lights from the buildings seemed to perfectly mirror themselves in the river below. The bridge had a series of lights the ran along the sides which reflected into the water. The entire moment was incredibly serene and memorable.


Single Light Source

DSC_0135Photo by Peter Charney

To me this accurately represents a single light source because as far as I can tell, there is only a single light hitting the flower from the top, and a little bit behind it. I love the way the single light creates these deep shadows within the flower. It’s interesting that the middle part with the stems (whatever it’s called) is usually the part of the flower most in focus with photography, but in this image it’s completely in silhouette. I love the deep purples and blacks and how it blends into the white from the light.

One Source of Light






I like the way the light in this photo is able to accentuate the shape of a person and still tell us nothing about him. The photo leads me to believe this person is dark, brooding and maybe even dangerous. Part of that may come from the black hoodie, but I think it’s mostly because not much is illuminated here and the sense of mystery the shadows creates automatically brings my mind to a dark place.