Categories
light photography

more small framing experiments

a few more small experiments this evening
gusty wind, light rain and a strange glow over the sea

Categories
art painting

mixed-media experiments

A little more playing today inspired by a chat with artist Angela James and her experimental and open approach.

I have made a very tiny test piece this evening – introducing some unusual (unstable) elements: watercolour, plus oil-based materials – safflower oil and turps, a little oil paint, sanding sealer, varnish. I have written down what I used, in the hope that I will remember what I have used…

Categories
art painting

playing with watercolours

Starting today to play with making sky houses

Categories
art light

experiments

Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, 4 to 4.30pm

last of the sun, bone cold, a few flakes of snow falling

making a few small experiments in framing

Categories
light

mynydd llangyndeyrn

This evening much colder.

Up onto Mynydd Llangyndeyrn, following the road to the cattle grids, then crossing the common and climbing up to the right on to the ridge above the standing stone. Walking round to the east.

A hawthorn tree tangled in sky, on the ground low brambles looping and scratching across jeans and boots. Birds passing singly and in small flocks, low, urgent.

Distance disappeared, cloud gradually climbing the dome of the sky from north and west, dim and ominous, bruised and yellow purple, thick with sleety rain. Half a roof covering the high house of the hill. Three quarters now, the lid sliding grey and purple across the moon. Light rain gently falling as we turn back.

Before leaving, letting the silence settle on me, to carry through the evening, back to my other home.

Categories
light photography Uncategorized

on perception : information and noise

These photographs are taken with a mobile phone camera this evening on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn.

In digital photography, something called ‘noise’ appears in photographs taken at low light levels, making the image grainy.

What we are seeing as graininess is randomness in the image. Either the constantly present randomness in photography – a question of which particular light photons hit the camera sensor in the instant that the photograph is taken; or digital randomness caused by electronic noise from the sensor and the device itself. The conditions were dark this evening, therefore my camera was not able to collect a lot of light, so the randomness or ‘noise’ – which is always present – was this evening overpowering the image or ‘signal’, and the photos were grainy.

I am finding that I am very interested in grainy photographs, and have been deliberately making them – and also experimenting with introducing extra noise into videos and images.

I think especially, I am interested in how low light levels start to break down the camera’s ability to make images, and I find it so interesting to compare that with my own gradual loss of vision over a period of half an hour or so, as the night draws across the mountain from the east.

I have recently been doing some reading about vision and perception, and today re-reading and wrestling with a part about information and noise in perception. These walks on the mountain, and the images that I am making are helping me with making my understanding more practical.

One author I am reading, called Mark Taylor, explains aspects of the neurology of perception, and says that in our perceptual processes, information emerges from noise through progressive processes of ‘screening’.

He also says:

“There is no such thing as absolute noise; or, in different terms, chaos is not the complete lack of order but an alternative configuration that generates static for established schemata. Noise is information in the process of formation. What counts as noise and passes for information is relative to the level at which processing occurs.” (Mark Taylor: Refiguring the Spiritual)

The author points out a number of interesting aspects of these screening processes. Firstly, that the unfiltered data (the light in vision), which is not a ‘complete lack of order’, holds patterns that ‘sculpt’ the eye and brain. Secondly, that when information passes through our perceptual and cognitive screens or filters, the filtered parts do not ‘disappear’, but create resonances which ‘cannot be clearly articulated’. The author likens this to a penumbra, the partial or fuzzy area on the edge of a shadow, between shadowed and lit places. Thirdly, the structures of the filter, the structures distributed across the brain, very much influence and determine the perceptual experience – so seeing both takes a little time, and is made possible through accessing and using memory of past experiences.

This gives what I think is a very interesting model of how perception and thinking work, which the author states is very different from the ‘traditional philosophy of the cogito that informs much of modern philosophy.’

It is a model which includes a ‘cognitive unconscious’. (A way of describing these incredibly complex networks and processes of filtering and processing the information (and noise) which happen outside of conscious awareness).

The model is non dualistic – it doesn’t divide things up into mind and matter. It treats the various processes: light, chemical, mental, as similar – ie. as information and screening processes. Consciousness, thinking, is understood in this model as something which is an ’emergent phenomenon’ of these information processes.

Categories
light Uncategorized

on hope

Exploring hope again.

So I am continuing work on my essay, writing about hope in the work of visual artists, but I’m also thinking about hope in my own work. How that might be.

I have started a short writing workshop , and have been introduced to a powerful poem by Denise Levertov, ‘For the New Year, 1981’, starting with the line

‘I have a small grain of hope-‘

The poet also compares hope to a piece from the root of an iris, where she says

‘Please share your fagment
so that yours will grow.

Only so, by division,
will hope increase’

Feeling my way towards the fine-grain texture of things, and the surprise of colour up close, and how that feels like hope.

For example, the flower of gorse in December, how a plant can flare up yellow in the grey-blue dusk light.

Categories
artists books light

a video fragment

A fragment of another book of the dark (video), made on Mynydd Llangyndeyrn.

There is something that I like very much about this one, it may be that what I like about it is that it is so deeply imperfect, to the point of awkward.

A bitter-sharp wind. My hands clumsy, numb fingers sticking out of fingerless gloves, feet stumbling as I was turning.

[To see the best of this video, it helps if you cut down the relflected light in your room].

Categories
light photography

Mynydd Llangyndeyrn

Arriving at Mynydd Llangyndeyrn at quarter past four, and walking the short way up, past the stone circle and the trig point, circling back round. A clear sky and cold today. These photos taken using my mobile phone, near the top. Walking down in the darkening.

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Uncategorized

kidwelly quay, nightfall

sounds of this evening, light rain, tide out, birds sounds and river