Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Painting with light

This expression came into my mind the first time when I was learning how to print black and white (b&w) photos.
Printing b&w photos is in fact painting with light.
The teacher was describing several techniques, to be used during the printing process, in order to highlight or contrast certain isolated spots of a print or even make them brighter or darker. These results are simply achieved with very simple tools and it’s all about the amount of light and time of exposure, you allow the spot to be exposed to.
I believe that this metaphor is shared by most of the photography lovers such as:
- Miuda often refers to photos as “pinceledas de luz” (sweeps of light). She is able to capture the soul of small details. You can see how she does it at blogdamiuda.
- David, who is constantly guiding us to other photography web sites, also calls his blog “pinceledas de luz” and shares with us his spectacular sweeps of light at “Diafragma”.
- F.Castelo calls his excellent site “escrita com luz” (writing with light). I took the liberty to borrow from F.Castelo, an example of a piece written with light:

Sevilhanas from F.Castelo. Fore more "escrita com luz" click here.

The progress in technology makes traditional techniques outdated and printing in b&w is less and less used.
Today the technology is rapidly replacing the SLR film cameras with SLR digital cameras. All we did one day in the dark room, can now be easily done in PC.
I am still using my SLR film camera or at digital level, a simple Sony snap shot camera.
My advisers about SLR digital cameras were:
- Alaska girl who does a great job in capturing the texture and beauty of flowers. Alaska Girl is using a Canon EOS Rebel (digital SLR).
- Ze Antonio who has a great ability to register art created by mother nature and invented by his own eyes. Ze Antonio suggested me to go Nikon, which I believe is also used by Miuda.
So technology does remove a bit of the romantism involved in the traditional photography techniques. But as we can see and if you take a look at the mentioned above sites, in spite of the technological progress, people are still sensitive, their souls still capture the beauty of life and they still paint, some how, with light:

Ephemeral Instant
A photo borrowed from Nikon’s site, taken with a Nikon D70.

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