What Is Light?

Light is a “natural stimulant that makes things visible”. In a 2D shape, light cannot be seen, as it is flat yet when we draw a 3D shape it can be seen as it is represented by the shadow and tones. Work using this includes Anthony McCall. Who used a 16mm film that gradually drew the circle, which when projected it can create a cone from a white line. When watching this you ended up feeling as if you are having an experience from the process and the cone being created.

Light can also be captured through a camera; this is a box that holds light. In turn it creates an image that represents what is seen by the memory whether it be paper, film or a memory card.

The importance of light can be traced back to Aborigine and Egyptian times where the scale of a subject showed superiority. This was shown through cave paintings and wall art, which was the social media of the time. Overtime though the scale has come to show how close the subjects are to the camera.

This is interesting to us as it is unknown like with growing up and trying new things. In caves though you are made to feel nervous, as it is unknown territory until the sun lights up the cave. This is where the camera becomes a camera obscurer.

Edward Mauybridge.

Mauybridge wanted to see if when a horse runs, was all four feet off the floor at any point. From this he created a camera that would capture every moment through stills from the use of different lenses. All though the image appeared as stills, you can see the horse moving when looking across the images as the brain re-animates the stills. This was done the same as with the Aborigine’s stories on the walls.

Another way of creating this sort of repetition is through Thomas Eakins use of high-speed flashes and aperture. Here it catches the image repeatedly but with the movement made after in the one image. Enforcing the movement and usually with lines of speed.

Jonathan Shaw has also done work-showing movement like this. His work though meant that he had to build enlarger so to see his work and pull paper and negative through at same time.

Nowadays though Photography has become to represent many things including moving image. The only thing with this though if the production is considered more it removes the impact of being art and interest. If you leave it to follow it’s own path you can create anything possible.


Another way of capturing imagery is through bullet time/time slice. Here action is frozen in the air. This is created through multiple cameras at same time. These are 5m in length of metal with 125 plastic lenses that had film put on it and then exposed simultaneously. The understanding wasn’t understood so people complained about what they believed were happening.

Other ways include creating videos using still images like with Andy Earl video of the Rolling Stones. So to capture the key moment compared to capturing each piece of movement made. This is also the same with Chris Cunningham’s work due to the size of it.

A different way of looking at imagery was by James Turrell who decided to look at what the viewer sees instead of having the imagery being a journal.

This has led onto nowadays where light is used everywhere with photography including turning it into a feature of tracking like with cctv.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s