So here we are… you do want to learn more about the art of lighting…

So this is were we go off on a tangent, thinking about the art of photography, particularly black and white photography, and the extraordinary images that have been captured over the years. What does this have to do with lighting I hear you say…. and I would say everything.

The great skill of the black and white photographer was to create an image of contrasts. Something which cuts through the run of the mill ordinary bland experiences of life and ends up playing with our heads as observers, finding subjects in the ordinary and extraordinary sights we come across each and every day.

The word I want you to notice here is contrast.

And now i ask you, why do we end up creating homogeneous spaces in our homes… Why do we end up creating bland ordinariness… even “dustings” of illumination from a glaring light-source in the midst of the room… Are we so scared of the spirits of darkness that we are simply content to exorcise the shadows so we can cringe in the corners of our minds, knowing the devils of the night wont venture in and upset us!

Perhaps i exaggerate, but then if that helps make the point, then well and good!

We shouldn’t be content with ordinariness. We can embrace the possibilities, creating shadows and contrasts, project light from concealed light-sources, play that light onto the various surfaces, have it reflect back, creating bright spots and shadows, embracing the uniqueness of the architecture, making the space our own!

Mostly we are dealing with colour. This presents more challenges that black and white, because we now have to deal with the quality of the light source. Just as not all wine is the same (chateaux cardboard vs grange) not all light sources are the same. This is now very apparent as we enter the age of LED lighting. We have grown up with the understanding that fluorescent lighting is a bit “empty”. Colours weren’t so vibrant, but we have learnt to deal this this. More to the point, we understand that street lighting is very empty… Walking the dog late at night we are not even aware that the car we past by was actually burgundy… we saw it as grey. And in that situation it didn’t matter. But we would not tolerate that level of lighting inside our homes… This is the issue of colour rendition… CRI. It is likely i have just lost you now… Take a break… we can pick this up again another time.