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squares² # 4 ~ φῶς  γραφή

civilized ku + ku together • click to embiggenI imagine most in the room know that the Greek words, φῶς γραφή (pronounced phos graphê), are the Greek root words for our word, photography - φῶς = "light, γραφή = drawing / writing (FYI, I studied Latin (4 years) and Ancient Greek (3 years) in high school). That is why, on occasion, photography is described as "drawing / writing with light".

Light is indeed that which we light writers (aka: photographers) know is indispensable to the making of our art/Art and we all know that trying to picture a black cat in a coal bin is difficult. However, without light, that task is absolutely impossible. Or, to state it another way, light sensitive material + no light = nothing, picture wise.

That written, some picture makers think making pictures is "all about the light". If it weren't for the fact the most picture makers who subscribe to that theory have turned golden / dramatic light into a picturing fetish, I would agree that, at times, a picture can be "about the light". However, for me, light is most often a facilitator in the making of a picture but not at all what the picture is about.

In any case, when I make pictures that are ostensibly "about the light" (although never wholly so) and the making of which are instigated by the qualities / characteristics of "the light", those pictures are invariably responses to a wide range of light quality / characteristics, not just a Pavlovian response to one particular kind of light.

It would be very safe to say that I am not a one-trick pony, or, as the wife's mother said, a "Johnny one note" when it comes to making pictures "about the light".

Reader Comments (2)

I take it that today, you believe you have disciplined us to read "that written" without a stumble, so that "that said/written" (complete with the 'strikethrough') is no longer necessary on your part. :)

Seriously though, knowing your work as I do today, I could never (ever) associate you with the "chasing the light" brigade. Only yesterday, I looked at the website of photographer whose work I had read was exceptional. All I could see was Velvia-esque landscapes. My only thought was "oh no, not again!"

Mark, I must admit with gratefulness that over the last few years you have helped me to see the light. Thank you.

September 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterColin Griffiths

Best line at the end of paragraph three,"... light is most often a facilitator ..."

September 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDennis

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