A Ceiling Light

A Ceiling Light

“The first time I really noticed a ceil­ing lamp was in a hotel lobby in Union­town, Ohio. I was intrigued by how it looked when I stood directly below it; from that per­spec­tive it was an abstract kalei­do­scope and didn‘t resem­ble the func­tional object that I had viewed from the side. As I lay on the lobby floor, study­ing the lamp, I decided to pro­duce this portfolio.

When­ever I con­sider this project com­pleted, I see another lamp that excites my imag­i­na­tion. Every­where I go, I still find myself look­ing up.“
Cole Thomp­son
please go now and see this series… http://www.flickr.com/photos/80238150@N00/sets/72157623172073777/

I took the pho­to­graph above (ISO 400, 1/250, f 8), but I did not have the idea. Cole Thomp­son had the idea. He has made a beau­ti­ful port­fo­lio of pho­tos of ceil­ing lamps. Please go to his blog and his web­site and check out his work. His blog is here: http://www.photographyblackwhite.com/. His pho­tographs are soul­ful and thought­ful. On his Flickr page he was asked how much retouch­ing is done to make these pho­tos of ordi­nary ceil­ing lamps looks so beau­ti­ful and clean. I decided to see what was involved. The photo above is hardly retouched at all. I sim­ply pointed the cam­era up, focused and fired. I edited out a small amount of ambi­ent light around the light (very lit­tle) and adjusted the con­trast a bit, no more than I do for any photo on this blog. I find this pho­to­graph very sat­is­fy­ing even though I didn‘t have the idea.

The feel­ing I have is the same I would have if I sang Let It Be well. It feels great to make a unique image and have a new idea, but there is still some­thing valu­able in mak­ing any art. Some­thing in me rises to meet the oppor­tu­nity to be cre­ative. Another artist I admire is Andy Goldswor­thy. There are whole web­sites devoted to peo­ple recre­at­ing and refash­ion­ing and spring-boarding off his amaz­ing art. Very lit­tle art, and no sci­ence that I know of, arises in a vac­uum. It is all deriv­a­tive, and that is one of its great­est strengths. Art and sci­ence are both wholly human activ­i­ties, because they both ref­er­ence pre­vi­ous work. In other words, art con­nects itself to what hap­pened before. I love that.

In Sep­tem­ber of this year I pho­tographed a Les Lyden paint­ing that hangs in our home (http://www.bendlight.me/2010/09/). I sent Les (I feel I can now call him Les, which is the big point I am slowly dri­ving to here) a note about the posts. We had a great con­ver­sa­tion about his work, mine. We got to know each other a bit, connected.

This blog, my writ­ing, art (for me), life, is a process of con­nect­ing. I am look­ing for myself, my heart. I am look­ing for you. I am look­ing for that which holds us together even as we live our lives alone together. In the end (and in the begin­ning) it is the process of giv­ing and receiv­ing love. I am grate­ful for Cole Thompson‘s work, for what it stirred in me and for what I did after experiencing it.

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4 Responses to A Ceiling Light

  1. Barbara says:

    do you have a photo of the lamp from the side?

  2. Kathleen says:

    Amazing photo and I love the piece on creativity.

  3. Bobbi says:

    Connecting, light, shape, form, very nice…


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