Jonathan Shaw – What Is Light?

I attended a lecture by Jonathan Shaw, where he spoke about his work with light, and what it means to him and to photography. He began by talking about perspectives, and how the look of paintings and the style of painting was affected when the camera began to immerge onto the art scene. Paintings became much more realistic, with subjects bing put into perspective in the background, and shadows being painted. The camera could capture light as it is within the world, and gave people a better understanding of how it works, and how this can be interpreted into painting and other art.

He then went on to talk about the different spectrums of light, and how humans see different spectrums of light. The light spectrum is very vast, but humans can only see a small section of it. That’s why x-ray and infrared photography is so interesting, because it shows a worl that people wouldn’t normally be able to see. We are bound to only tiny section of the light spectrum, and if we were able to see past that spectrum, then the world we know would look very diferent. Cameras can detect these diferent areas of light however, as shown in the infrared images below:

He then showed us some of his own work, and how he was inspired by photographers and artists that did something similar. Eadweard Muybridge for example, was the photographer that proved that horses have all 4 legs off the ground when running, by using a special camera rig to capture many images as the horse ran past (shown below). This was a groundbreaking realisation to science and the world, because it not only proved something that had been debated for a long time, it also showed the power of photography. Notes from this lecture are shown below.

  • Perspectives
  • Focusing on areas using light etc
  • Howard Rheingold – Virtual Reality 1991
  • Cave Paintings – Form of communication – Pictures instant communication
  • Spectrums of light – Infrared photography – looks interesting because it’s unknown – X-rays etc
  • Nick Veasey
  • Paul Clipson
  • Gjon Mili (Marcel Duchamp)

Light Is The Subject

  • Anthony McCall
  • James Turrell – Roden Crater Project
  • Invsible Worlds – Eadweard Muybridge
  • Tim MacMillan
  • Etienne-Jules Marey
  • Harold Edgerton
  • Nick Knight
  • Anton Giulio Bragaglia
  • Chris Cunningham
  • Andy Earl (Michel Gondry)
  • J Shaw (Disruptive Media) (@time_motion)

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