Friday, April 23, 2010

Photography and writing with light

Drawing With Light [Flash Player]

Light is fundamental to photography. It illuminates the subject being photographed, and records its image on the film. The word "photography" comes from the Greek and means to draw or to write (graphos) with light (photos). From the 5th century BC to the present, we have been fascinated by images formed by light. Photography was invented when these images were first "fixed" or made permanent in the 19th century. It has changed forever the way we see the world. Drawing With Light looks at light in photography, from early scholars' observations on the behaviour of light, to the digital revolution of the 21st century. Photographs from the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography illustrate technical developments in photography, and its ability to communicate information and ideas about the world around us.

The Virtual Museum of Canada (VMC) has created an informative and imaginative website about photography and writing with light.  After entering the exhibit, visitors will find boxes with the small colored triangles in the corner near the top of the page, which are the different topics that are covered to "illustrate the principles of light and the technical evolution of photography."  Visitors will find that there are the topics of "Early Observations", "Camera Obscura" "The Inventors", "The Pinhole Camera", "The Modern Camera", "The Art of Photography", and "Going Digital".  There is also a link to "Gallery", which is divided up by the aforementioned topics.  Visitors should not miss the exhibition that was curated by teenagers called "Illumination".  It features responses by Canadian teens to images from the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Art.  Many of the responses are in poetry form, and belie the youth of the writers. [KMG]