Why Unnatural Light?

Well, because no matter how much we strive to reproduce natural light, we can’t. We can barely capture it, and when we do capture it, we then do post-processing of whatever variety on it to “enhance” it, to let the viewer feel rather than see what we felt just before trying to record the moment, or to try to surpass the limitations of the medium in which we are working so that the viewer sees exactly what we saw in the real world.

And in the world of theatre, at least indoor (or night outdoor theatre), and often in photography, there is no such thing as natural light; we spend a good deal of time in trying to create something that approximates natural light in those productions that call for such verisimilitude, knowing all the time that we are using conventions and tricks to “present” rather than reproduce natural light, which we could quite easily do, given that the light was interior evening light. It wouldn’t look very good though; it would look stark and probably shadowy or bright and ugly, which is the way we really light our interiors, and which hardly anybody wants to see on the stage.

In art, it’s not about reality; it’s about perceived reality, or imagined reality, or recreated dream or fantasy, or the communication of feeling or mood or atmosphere or an idea or… (add your own list here). Oh, I know there is the occasional exception, but for the most part we are not interested. While we may find real reality moving, we usually do not find it pleasant, attractive or appealing; we are far more likely to find it uncomfortable, awkward. or annoying. We are looking for something else.

So it occurs to me that it would be an appropriate name for a blog about art, at least from my perspective, and that’s what Unnatural Light is about: my thoughts and questions and musings about art and how and why we produce it, how it affects us or doesn’t. I will hold forth—because I need to, and if you come to read, I will appreciate it, and if you care to comment or question, please do.

Date: Sunday, 22. August 2010 19:58
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