A “solar harp”
I coined that expression to describe the perceptual ambiance of a building on my university campus that has a multistory atrium open to sunlight which, as it changes, and when combined with the light entering through generous windows, creates a fascinating ensemble of perceptual effects akin to harp music.
The feature image, reprised above, is an example of that effect; it was taken in a waiting area of the underground radiation treatment section of a local hospital.
The moving shadow pattern, created by the sun light penetrating that space through skylights, helped provide some distraction from the medical situation of the patients … at least for me!
The following images continue my photographic exploration of notable visual effects of sun light penetrating architectural space.
A stair rhythmic play
Crossing the sun lit rhythm of the stair steps leading to an upper floor of the local Atwater Public Market, the shadow lines of the diagonally located hand rail evoke our moving up, or down, in careful pizzicato fashion.
Remove the diagonal shadow lines and the steps look as much an obstacle to as a means of access!
An ordering presence
This pattern of shadows overlaying the banal, but decorated, waste disposal counter of a coffee shop had attracted my attention from outside the building as I passed by it.
Getting to it, once inside, was another matter given the crowd of people I had to elbow myself through to obtain this image that projected, momentarily, the exterior geometric architectural order over the interior disparate one.
A lit-up presence
We were sitting not more than six feet away from this older man, an island of silence in the middle of a coffee shop crowd.
As we discussed the various features of our respective cameras, the sun rays reached the man’s table and lit up the white cup and the man’s hand and face, turning them into an image of peaceful concentration.
I simply aimed my camera toward the man, swung up the monitor to furtively frame the photo by looking down, and Intuitively set the proper exposure for the best contrast effect … et voilà!
A single photograph cannot do justice to the dynamic effects of the sun light which, as it moves, will highlight various aspects and moments of a particular space. As such sun light can be considered, here again, to be an agent of perceptual awareness, focus and appreciation of setting, scene and situation!
Credit all photographs to Maurice Amiel