Jonathan Shaw – Working With Light

What is light?

  • For instance take a circle. What is it? A circle is a line
  • What if you want to make that circle into a sphere?
  • What is needed?
  • Shading is needed, You need dark and light to represent the light of that object, this then make the shape become 3 dimensional.
  • In photography you are exploring light in objects and subjects to make them become 3 dimensional.

Howard Rheingold

  • We are elements in an informational ecology that creates the illusion we call reality. The photons, the light-reflecting properties of the objects we see, the distance between our eyes, the nature of our visual perception system, our parallel data processors and other brain functions still unknown to science, act in concert to weave the apparently seamless cloth of experience.”
  • He looked at cave paintings as it was there form of communication, in some forms it was a permanent camera obscura of their lives.
  • Light is electromagnetic radiation of wavelength seen be the naked eye.
  • Infrared photography – we see it as an effect but it is allowing us to see what our own eyes can’t.
  • x-ray photography – TED talk – Nick Veasey
  • Paul Clipson – Sphinx on the seine
  • Paul doesn’t tend to care about the technology it is more of what cane take place with the essence of light.
  • You have an idea, but you only start to develop when you start practicing that idea.

Gjon Mili – Picasso photograph, it has not been completely lit by the camera, a soure of light flash has been added to the image to keep Picasso in sharp focus otherwise due to the long shutter speed, he would have been blurred.


  • The use of multiple strobe light flashes has been used.

Anthony McCall – Line describing a Cone

  • uses 16mm film
  • On film he has gradually drawn a circle, if you put that over a series of frames, it produces a cone. So when you go into an exhibition you have an experience you are able to interact with.

James Turrell – Sky Space

  • What experience do you want the person to experience?
  • James Turrell quote ‘ Rather than being a journal of my seeing, it is about your seeing’
  • Light is a measurement of time

Eadweard Muybridge


  • It changed how we saw the world around us.
  • He showed us how a horse really runs.

muybridge_plate163_pop animal locamotion

Time slice – Tim MacMillan

  • Use of 5mm piece of metal, with loads of different apertures on, they are then all exposed simultaneously.
  • Example of TimeSlice

Etienne – Jules Marey

  • A scientist who was fascinated by the way we move.

Saut à la perche

Harold Edgerton


  • Use of multiple strobe light flashes to freeze time.

Chris Cunningham

  • Similar to time slice, however to added element of blur, gave it something unique and edgy.

Jonathan Shaw


  • He was frustrated by what you could do with cameras and what they could do on their own, so he decided to do something your not supposed to do – drilling holes in cameras – panorama dance shot – he had to construct and enlarger because on a normal enlarger it was 2mm high, he had to build an enlarger- he had to build an enlarger that pulled the negative and paper threw at the same time.


  • When you see a moving image, it will be rare that a camera remains fixed in place. the camera will be on a floor rail, so it can create a different moving angle.
  • Photography as a subject is huge with technology development – Iphone etc.

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