Sep 17, 2012

Drawing with Light

[Below is the "Drawing with Light" handout from The Studio on 9/12]

It’s easy to take light for granted. The sun provides light each day, even on overcast skies. Where there is no light, we flip a switch.
We cannot live without light. It gives life.
Not just physical life,
But spiritual life. 

Where do you see light? 

X  Draw with Light      X

The word “photograph” is derived from two Greek roots:

photo or light, and graph, to write. To photograph is to write, or draw with light. To photograph is to receive and hold light; a photograph is “frozen light.” Light is the essence of photography. Without light, there is no photography. *
Pay attention not so much to your subject, but instead, how it interacts with light.


X  Characteristics of Light       X

Quantity: this is the level of light—low lighting or bright lighting.

Quality: this is the hardness or softness of light.

Direction: where light is coming from—sidelight, back light, front.

Contrast: this is the difference between light and dark areas.

· Overall Contrast: refers to the extremes of light and dark in the image or scene as a whole.

· Local Contrast: refers to the extremes or transitions in some part of the scene or image.

Color: this is the warmness or coolness to light.

Note: Indoor tungsten lighting is “warmer” than daylight. However, sunlight the very beginning or end of the day tends to be warmer. *


X  Exploring Light      X
· Where is the light on the object? Where are the shadows?

· What is the source of the light?

· What characteristics does the light have?

· What shapes, forms, movements does the light create or  suggest?

· How does the light affect the movement of your eye?

· What are the emotional effects of these characteristics of  the light?


X  Truth about Light     X

God created light: Genesis 1:3 (NIV) And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

God is referenced as Light in scripture: 1 John 1:5 (NIV) This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you; God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.

Jesus proclaims He is the Light of the world: John 8:12 (The Message) Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows Me stumbles around in the darkness. I   provide plenty of light to live in. Also see John 9:5.

Scripture is reference as Light: Psalm 119:105 (NIV)
Your Word is a lamp to my feet, a light on my path.

We are to be light: Matthew 5:14-16 (The Message)
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. 

Eternal Light: Revelation 21:23-24 (NLT) And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory.


X  Homework        

As with any creative endeavor—always ask God to be present with you and that He would make His presence known to you. 

In your “everyday” spaces (the office, home, place of work, etc.) take time to notice the affects of light; the sun illuminates a room or how a lamp throws light onto the wall. 

Using your camera, take photos focusing on light and shadow. Shoot in monotone or sepia tone. If your camera doesn’t have those settings, you can change them in a photo editing program or app.  

Explore the images you created. Notice the light. Notice the shadow. Refer to the questions under “Exploring Light.”  

Have fun.  

Print 1-3 of your favorite photos from this series and bring them to The Studio this week, 9/19. 

As you look over your photos from this homework series, what surprises you? What have you learned about light and its affects?  In what ways can you parallel your spiritual journey to any of the images you have taken? What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you through this exercise?

 See ya next week!
* Adapted from Howard Zehr's fabulous little book, Contemplative Photography. I highly recommend it.

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