30 December 2011
I welcome your comments about any of these nighttime photographs.
The night sky has been one of the most intriguing physical phenomenon for humans to understand. It remains mysterious and continues to be a playground for scientific analysis, investigation and speculation. But it also is apt fodder for the rest of us, and has been since the dawn of the “thinking” brain. Eventually, it was not enough to be wooed by the moon and the stars. We had to enter the party with fire and other innovations to bring light where it had not been. And so we added to the otherworldly nighttime illumination.
The gift of artificial light to the human experience improved life, and gave more ammunition for inventions and a different life journey. We literally found a way to light the night.
Artists constantly wrestle with artificial and natural light; it’s easy to surmise which is the preferred. But natural light may not always be available to enliven or give substance to the image that is chosen. In photography challenges are always there. No matter how many stacks of photographs taken, the next subject can frustrate and push the synapses to their edge of reason. Light is very much a frontispiece to the visual arts.
The Impressionists, such as Claude Monet, struggled to tame the light. They presented the world in a way that the camera eventually would achieve in the quickness of time. Monet, who is one of my favorite artists, studied the way that light and water danced together. As he painted and painted and painted their interaction, he became a master of illumination.
“For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life–the light and the air which vary continually.” Claude Monet (1840-1926)
In the Lens section are three photographs taken last week on the darkest of evenings. A neighbor’s decorations were the centerfold for the neighborhood. My goal was to produce abstracts of those holiday lights. They remind me of fireworks moving across the horizon.
Tomorrow night I plan to walk outside as the new year opens its arms, and embrace what the night has to offer. I’ll be thinking about the generations of eyes–human and not–that have pondered the skyline from other vantage points. The sky evolves at its own pace, but it holds much of what the first animals viewed. That image wows me.
I extend to you wishes for a new year filled with the light of hope–a world illuminated by hope and peace, and, yes, the glow of heavenly bodies.