Light As A Medium - Narrative Lighting Effect


The light effect i captured here is not necessarily one which is unique or unusual. Rather, I was drawn to it because I find the effect to be rich with emotion and narrative despite how relatively common it is. The effect in this photo is that of the late afternoon sun coming in low through sheer curtains, creating these varying streaks of light and long shadows. In general I find this quality of light to be very evocative, creating a sense of peace and melancholy as a symbol for the day coming to an end. It is no accident that film directors like Terrence Malick are constantly drawn to the light at this time of day to capture this emotional quality.

Still from Terrence Malick’s  Days of Heaven

Still from Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven

Interestingly however, within the context of my time at ITP and the particular setting of this photo, I can also find this light to create a feeling of anxiety and even mild panic. This is because as this light falls across my desk I am reminded that the time I have in the day for getting work done is running out, and I inevitably have not gotten as much done as I had hoped. So ultimately something as simple as this lighting effect can mean very different things in different contexts.