Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Light Lies

When I saw the light lying in this fashion, I wondered whether the camera would be able to correctly record it. It's a very particular light that reminds me of my first work in Dublin. I was commissioned with taking photographs of European neighbourhoods and Tallaght was the Irish case. It was wintry and sunny and ... some other stuff! But when the local roads reflected the light it looked like this - vast swathes of it, which made the light meter give all sorts of readings. I was using Ilford XP2 which is very forgiving and fast enough black and white film. So that's my explanation of why I was pleased with this shot. But does the light lie? No, I don't think so. light is always truthful. But when it hits a surface and then fragments, it can tease the eye all right. Quantum physicists have all sorts of explanations of light waves, but I like the idea that they are "together but apart". Even though several light sources are separate, they are in a kind of single register, connected through the quantum potential. I am talking about non-locality here, a subject that Einstein was unhappy about but with which more recent theoreticians like David Bohm and John Bell have had success. I like to think of light not only fragmenting but disintegrating, revealing as Bohm would have said, something much more significant.