Photo of the Week – September 9, 2011

Dappled sunlight refracted by an antique window
September 9, 2011
Olympia, Washington
In the summer of 1989 the national Gallery of Art in Washington, DC produced a show celebrating the 150th anniversary of photography. The title of the show was “On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: 150 Years of Photography”. It contained 415 black-and-white and color photographs spanning the range from 1839 to 1989.

When I encountered this wonderful play of light and shadow filtered through the antique window I was immediately reminded of that phrase – the art of fixing shadow. Photography is unique as an art form in its ability to capture the ephemeral. Time is both elastic and finite in a camera. It is one of the great joys I have as a photographer to be able to capture something that lasts for only a moment.

The pattern on the wall disappeared as quickly as it had appeared – the whole episode that lasted less than 2 minutes.

Link to the National Gallery of Art's page for the show "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow : 150 Years of Photography"
Link to Amazon's page for the book "On the Art of Fixing a Shadow : 150 Years of Photography"