PART 2: Light and Shadow


THEORY 2: Light and Shadow

this essay looks at ... 
flicker films, Plato's allegory of the cave, H.P. Robinson's allegorical images, working with the absence of light, Tony Conrad's slow emulsions, photography as fairy magic and sun drawings, Adam Fuss's photograms, Hiroshi Sugimoto's feature-length exposures, Cai Guo-Qiang's explosions, light as cancerous radiation, light and shadow in city planning, low-key or high-contrast lighting in works by Rineke Dijkstra, Jacob Riis, Weegee, Adrienne Salinger, and others, O. Winston Link's environmental light, darkness and light as metaphors for knowledge, morality, and power, pools of light in Expressionism, film noir, and works by Hans Bellmer, Esther Bubley, and Anna Gaskell, the modern tonality of the Group f/64, available light in the work of Roy DeCarava, a child's understanding of shadows, Yinka Shonibare's interpretation of Dorian Gray, public projected images, Indonesian shadow play, Gregory Barsamian's kinetic sculptures, flickering portraits by Christian Boltanski, Kara Walker's silhouettes, and more ...


PRACTICE 2: Light and Shadow: Tools, Materials, and Processes

the source of light

learn ...
to control contrast, intensity and direction of light
about different sources of natural and artifical light
about qualities of natural and artificial light
to photograph with natural and artificial light
how to control brightness, shape, sharpness, and resolution of beams from projection

the path of light

learn to ...
recognize and control the color of light
manipulate the intensity and contrast of light by bouncing, filling, focusing, reflecting, absorbing, and diffusing light
construct inexpensive reflectors, diffusers, and softboxes
evaluate exposure with light meters, histograms, and bracketing
alter color of light with filters and gels
digitally create a filtered light effect

light's terminal point

learn to ...
control the reflectivity of a space's surfaces
control the luminance of a projection screen
construct your own projection screens
create silhouettes and shadow play