A Play of Light and Shade

The start of this play of light and shadow…….
On the morning of 16th February this year,  the sun rose from its usual winter hiding place quite a few degrees to the south of its mean position in the eastern sky.  

Sometime after rising, the sun emerged above a nearby hill and its rays found a way through various pieces of foliage and squeezed through the narrowest of gaps between the frame of the living room’s French window and the door into the hall.

….and the end as the last vestige of light faded.
Essentially speaking the house became a camera obscura although not in the purist sense.  A true camera obscura would project an inverted image of the outside into a dark room, in exactly the way that a camera and the eye works.

It was by chance that I took notice of the shadows that were being projected onto a bare wall of the hall.  Standing in the way of the morning light were the newel post and banister of the stairs.  As the sun rose and moved westward, the shadows changed and developed across the wall—light and shadow, both intense and vague, sharp and soft for the best part of twenty-five minutes.

At Fukushoji temple the floor was spotlit….
Since observing this pageant, I was reminded of the patterns of light I had the pleasure of seeing when I visited Fukushoji temple on the Noto peninsula.

That day the shadows lit up the floor.  This was inevitable as the elevation of the sun in June in Japan is of course very high.  Even in the middle of February in the UK, however, the sun traces a very shallow path across the sky and hence the way my hall wall was lit up.

….and the screen work described.
It is only really when something interrupts light that we notice what is happening.  Without light there are no shadows.  Without shadows we are not really aware of light.  We must be thankful for both.

Check this site to know more about a camera obscura:

Bill Tingey Photo © Copyright

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