27 January 2014
Let me know which you prefer and why.
Glass is an apt design element for twenty-first century architects. With many buildings going green, the use of more and more glass is and always has been an intriguing signature to photograph.
Every minute of every day high, low or medium light alters views of buildings. Light struts itself inward through windowed spaces devoted, for example, to foster reflective qualities, luring onlookers. As important these features also serve inner spaces; inhabitants of the interior realize the presence or lack thereof of the sun’s rays. Light and shadows, therefore, are subliminal and overt participants in our daily wonderings.
Of course, buildings have reflections that come from artificial light that pushes itself through doors, hallways and stairwells. Indoor mirroring can be eye-catching, especially with today’s LED.
Fluorescent is my least favorite lighting. In the last few years LED (light emitting diode) has been my savior. Traditional tungsten lights, which I once used for indoor photo shoots are now stored somewhere in my home. Certainly, I was surprised to learn that the magic of the LED was invented by General Electric scientists over fifty years old.
I applause its place in our everyday life (cellphones, tablets…), and mostly its ability to be mercury-free and best choice for the environment as well as our finances. Now they are persuasive–inside and out. Architects fondly use them as floodlighting and attention-getting architectural spotlighting.
They seem more readily apparent in their bright-white glow, but they come in a range of colors. The image below reminds me of the beauty that must be reflected by the rows of lighting. I can imagine the sun setting, and affecting the hues as they cast themselves here and there. I also can see shadows walking across the pathway on a foggy evening, creating a mobile refraction of images.
Glass and light are the most welcome of companions. They nurture each other’s optimum performance. A famous and pristine example, which marries these two with an architect’s vision, is Phillip Johnson’s home built on 47-acres in New Canaan, Connecticut: The Glass House (architect Phillip Johnson, 1906-2005).
The charm and long-standing reputation of the residence is made clear by its bare simplicity. It stuns and seduces one’s notion of what a home should be and should not be. In its genius it causes banter and dialogue. It is modernism, like it or not.
To be sure it’s the use of glass that gives people a jolt. There is little else to see. A home starkly decorated on the inside, and bathed everywhere in light and reflections.
In the Lens section are two images that couple glass and light with the ramifications of this partnership. The first image was taken of a greenhouse at the UD Botanical Gardens. It was a day of cloudscapes and blue-grey skies. Still, the reflections swept through the glass windows as though on a race to reach me.
The second image was shot inside Gore Hall on UD main campus, where I was departing from a lecture. I was struck by the angles, contrasts, and shapes that formed as I approached the door to leave the lecture hall. To see one man at the end of the hallway made it a must to still: the white of his notebook staring at me.
My fascination with reflections and light forces me to take road trips at the end of the day. Or walk to the nearest place to view the sunset: a magician at cloak and dagger with its unfolding surprises.
Tip of the Week: It’s never an easy task to photograph glass objects. I’ve spent hours trying to capture paperweights and other glass-made items. Mostly, photographers spend time trying to light a subject, but reflective surfaces require a different approach. So I’d like to pass on a video that has some good points about shooting objects that reflect light. Click here to view the short film. My advice: Experiment. Experiment. Experiment.
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. If you have any questions about the Phoneography Challenge, please contact me.
Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Phoneography Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black and White
4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).