Thursday, May 13, 2010
The play of light.
I have been wandering the beach, trails and fields of the Burgoyne valley for two hours when I arrive at the old abandoned barn and it is still only 10 am. The sunlight streams through the fir branches and plays on the vertical planks of the end wall creating a dappled pattern of light and shadows of branches. It is a photograph not to be missed, not for its perfect beauty alone but because I suddenly have an idea, or perhaps intuition would be a better word. I make the picture and then scurry around to the entrance of the barn, step in and peer at the back of the same wall, the planks I have just pictured from outside. A negative image of dark planks, and through the cracks are bright spots of light shining in a regular pattern. This is my version of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy pulls aside the screen. That reality in light and shadow patterns on the other side of the screen of planks has been squeezed through small holes and now show as dots of light.
How to express in a photograph the intuition that I am feeling. I need a long exposure, small aperture and a place to brace my camera. I step forward into the projected pattern, rest the lens on the top of a cross plank, press the shutter, and then twist the lens barrel in steps while waggling the camera body. I check to find a complex interwoven dancing web of fine lines on the LCD camera screen. I take several more variations while I am at it, but it is the first take I like the best when I have a better look on the computer screen. Those dots of light, bits of energy, are dancing a wonderfully co-ordinated, orchestrated ballet. A theoretical visualization of the light that has streamed through the plank filter. Or should I say Planck filter after Max Planck the man who along with Einstein opened the door to Quantum mechanics, - the theory of the vagrant small bits of energy that underlie all that we view as reality.
Oh, I know my intellectual understanding of physics is of the “Twinkle, twinkle little star.”, and “What goes up must come down.” variety but what I have intuited today and created a visual image of may not be so far wrong after all. We all can sense the deeper reality that contains everything, whether we experience it directly through our senses, through science, religion, or the arts. Through my camera`s lens I have experienced beauty on the face of the barn and seen it also as an amazingly co-ordinated dance. The play of light.