Saturday, January 13, 2018

Light the Fifth Dimension?

Light seems to transform everything in its wake and its reflections create completely different qualities of air and sense. When I go outside, my eye is looking for the light--the shine, the diamond in the rough. When I went outside today, I wanted to capture how shiny the holly tree was--the first tree of the two in the middle of the photo. It looked as if all the tips of the leaves had been dipped in bright silver, an effect the iphone camera buried although it caught the tree's symmetrical shadow.

I moved closer, hoping that might help, and here's what happened.

The sun and its reflection from the camera created a green arc in the camera's eye, although not actually on the ground or not that my eyes could see on the ground.

Here the sun transforms an interior scene. One can see from this photo--of objects on a table bathed in oblique sunlight coming in from an unseen window to the right with open blinds--why impressionists, who wanted to paint light, wound up breaking the surface of objects and hence the paint surface.  Striated sunlight makes objects a bit jumpy.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Yale First Building Project 2017

This building for the homeless was featured in a Wall Street Journal article on the best architecture of 2017. The building was created by the Yale School of Architecture Jim Vlock First Year Building Project. I was captivated by the second photo below and the beautiful differentiation of space. Even  1,000-square feet can seem like a palace. Here is the Journal writeup on the building:
This year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project, a house for the homeless
This year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project, a house for the homeless PHOTO: ZELIG FOK AND HAYLIE CHAN
Not every year delivers major architectural stunners, but sometimes there’s something even better—buildings that contribute to a more promising future. Since 1967, the Yale School of Architecture has required first-year students to set aside theoretical and academic course work to actually build something that benefits the community. Over the years (and depending on available funds), students in the Jim Vlock First Year Building Project have designed and built—hands-on—community centers, bandstands, park pavilions and, most recently, affordable housing. 
This year, the 50th project was completed: a 1,000-square-foot house for the homeless. Clad in cedar with a standing-seam metal roof and several window-seat-deep gables, the prefabricated structure contains one studio and a two-bedroom apartment with abundant built-in storage. Columbus House, a New Haven nonprofit organization, will identify and provide additional support for tenants.
Interior of this year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project
Interior of this year’s Jim Vlock First Year Building Project PHOTO: ZELIG FOK AND HAYLIE CHAN
The Building Project has always been highly commendable (and imitated at other schools), but this year’s house is particularly sophisticated and handsome—worthy of inspiring pride of place in whoever is lucky enough to dwell there.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wall of White

This white-petaled bush lines the street in a neighborhood by the lake in a cul-de-sac edging some woods. Would make a lovely backdrop for a wedding party.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Musicians of Medieval Marginalia

The word cartoon first came into existence in the beginning of the Renaissance to refer to a study in preparation for a more permanent work of art, such as a painting. Later, in the 19th century the word "cartoon" came to refer to a comic picture with satirical or exaggerated graphic features--as in today's comic books, newspaper funnies, political cartoons, and graphic novels.

However, this leaves out the marginalia of medieval prayerbooks and hymnals. Here, surrounding the image of veneration--a saint, a scene from the life of Christ and of Mary, or a scene from the Old Testament, and calendars, or surrounding the musical notations in hymnals--a rich subterranean and often comic pictorial life flourishes in the marginalia.

For example, we see below that animals are often playing music in the marginalia--forerunners to the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, the Musicians of Bremen. All animals, not just the birds, it seems, had some kind of musical talent back then, even dragons (see last picture).

Monday, April 17, 2017

Day Is Done

It was a high spring day, but the reflection of the sky in the lake almost looks like a snowscape.

Fifteen minutes later and the clouds had broken up and their reflections made it look as if mist was rising from the water.