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Posts Tagged ‘sunlight’

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this morning’s light through the oak tree branches

 

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Caustic in Black & White 1

Okay, I first remember reading about John Cage in a story by Alex Ross of The New Yorker. The piece opened with a description of the 1952 performance of John Cage’s composition, 4’33”, which turned out to be four minutes and thirty-three seconds of silence. It’s a bit more complicated than that, or maybe not, but you can read more via this article link.  John Cage and silence came to mind recently because I was sharing a video I’d made with the physicist in my life and when I asked him what piece of music should I pair with these images, he suggested, “soundtrack by John Cage.”

Caustic in Black & White 2

Caustic in Black & White 2

At first I thought he was kidding.  There had to be a short classical piece to fit the light and motion so reminiscent of northern lights.  When I’d asked him what music to pair with a short video of sunlit water flowing over rocks, he’d suggested Faure’s Requiem in Paradisum.  Now he recommended silence? On my own, I found Bartock’s Evening in the Village. I tried the pairing. He appreciated Bartok but he still favored Cage.  I read a bit more about Cage, his compositions, his performances, his poetry … an interesting man to say the last.

Caustics in Color

Caustics in Color

So what I captured on the wall one morning took place in less than four minutes and thirty-three seconds.  It involved a rippled window, a different one in the house.  Light shone down through the gaps in the leaves and branches of the oak tree that towers over the house.  That light made its way through the glass refracting through the ripples producing a dynamic pattern of caustics on the wall.  Most often that pattern of light is static but this particular morning the wind was blowing. The branches and the leaves they moved creating what that physicist described as “a pattern of illumination that varied in space and time.” It was a good moment inspiring some experimentation as you can see in the video below.  The flickering on the wall is as it happened … in less than four minutes and thirty-three seconds.

A Silent Dance from Cynthia Staples on Vimeo.

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… as we wait for the next two storms.  But yesterday there was a beautiful light.  I tried photographing that same icicle that during a previous sunset had seemed filled with gold dust.  But nothing is ever quite the same.  Still beautiful though. 😉

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I must say …

I do love winter light.

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I could hear her voice the whole time as I settled myself on the kitchen floor and peered beneath the oven.  And I can hear her voice every time I look at this photo of what I captured in that moment, of what caught my attention in the morning sun.  I hear my mother saying to my father, “Yes, the web is beautiful, but why can’t that child dust a bit more?”

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In Copley Square, there is a fountain where I like to sit, eat my hot dog, and then, if I’m lucky, photograph leaves floating on the surface of the water.  This week few leaves floated but there was plenty of trash, and the trash was blocking some sort of vent or drain and so the water was swirling erratically.  And then a little kid poured in a bottle of bubbles, and somebody’s dog jumped in to chase the pigeons and I thought, quite frankly, “This sucks.”  But then you know what happened as it always does?  The sun came out … The trash did not disappear but there was a beauty revealed, too, I think.  But that’s just my perspective.

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… somehow, the scenes always take my breath away.  With moving water, in this case a freshwater spring running into the sea, there is no one right photo.  It’s just capturing fluid moments as the sun shines down, reflecting, refracting and all those other wonderful things light does in and on the water.

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