Assignment #4: Light
The title of this two-piece set is, ‘I sit with you’.
In these photos I wanted to use the soft morning light and reflective technique to create a sense of stillness and calm in the viewer. I used the same natural lighting situation for both photos but wanted to convey the different visual and lighting elements that black and white versus color photography bring forth.
In both photographs we are drawn to the top portion of the photo. The vibrant white of the statue immediately draws our eyes to it – the lap of the seated Buddha statue. The folds of his drapes cascade downward to where his hands gently rest, and bring our eyes to the bottom portion of the photo, the pool of water in which he sits.
In the black and white photograph the water appears gray. The lack of color makes it easier for the viewer to notice the fallen leaves sitting at the bottom of the birdbath. We also see specs of white light from the sky reflected on the water’s surface. Mixed among the various shades of gray below and on the water’s surface, the Buddha’s reflection is barely noticeable. In this colorless image, the Buddha’s reflection is not as easily seen as in the color version.
The color photograph is more visually stimulating. We can see the green leaves and brown twigs sitting in the palms of the statue. The bottom portion of the photo is a mix of shades of green, brown and orange. As in the black and white image, we see the bright white light of the sky reflected on the surface of the water. The blurred outlines of leaves sitting at the bottom of the birdbath come in to view after further inspection; leading our eyes to focus on the detail of the head of the statue, and his serene expression reflected in the water.
Though the head of the statue is perhaps the last thing that the viewer focuses on or notices, it is the most refined and detailed element in the color photo. In this way, the viewer must sit with both pictures for a while, as in meditation, to connect with each image and get a sense of what the image attempts to portray.
The image of Buddha, himself, is a peaceful sight to gaze upon but the soft glow of natural light cast against the white stone and the tender expression of Buddha in meditation reflected in the still water further heighten this sense of stillness and calm.
I sit with you: black & white.
I sit with you: color.