Photographer's Note


The present photo is a sequel to STUDIES IN COLORS #1 and STUDIES IN COLORS #2 from an exhibition of Dale Chihuli's Glass creations. The camera I had used in the former photo was a compact Nikon Coolpix S9300. For the latter photo, as well as in the present the camera is a more elaborate Nikon D200.

On the negative side, the slow shutter speed and lack of a tripod made it difficult to capture a sharp image. On the positive, what makes photo is first, the presence of visitors seen in silhouette; and second, the presence of the blurred bluish light seen on the left. I resisted the simple solution of cropping or darkening that area. A disquieting factor elevates a good piece of art to a much higher level. Whether I succeeded is open to debate. Two years ago I had posted a photo, View from the Gazebo, where I had also left an unsettling factor in the frame.

One of my favorite painters, Johannes Vermeer, was the master of injecting unsettling effects. At the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC is the 17th century Dutch Master's "A Woman holding a Balance." It was Vermeer's genius in including the gilded (double) frame, just to the right of the woman. The eye inadvertently oscillates between the frame and the woman. In the "Mona Lisa", Leonardo painted an optical illusion in the mouth, and he made the horizon line uneven behind his subject. The result is to make the viewer go back and forth inadvertently, creating a hypnotic effect. I would be grateful to hear your preference. Do you prefer this scene with our without the ghostly blue in the doorway?

From my earlier note about the artist, Dale Chihuly, his legion of fans are familiar with the beautiful colors that he achieves in his blown glass creations. The collaboration of painters and glass blowers is not a new phenomenon. In the early 16th century, the Venetian Master Titziano (Titian) had collaborated with the glassblowers on the Island of Murano near Venice to learn about their secrets in achieving certain colors, especially the reds. Subsequently, Raphael hired away one of Titian’s assistants and his colors became more vibrant, especially the reds. Three-hundred and fifty years later, the French Impressionists were able to get their hands on oxides produced in exceedingly hot furnaces used in the Industrial Revolution. Cross fertilization of disciplines frequently leads to immense creativity.

In our photography we can all learn from the great painters. They had much more time than we do in composing their works.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6809 W: 476 N: 12169] (41257)
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