Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Outside The Realm

I love painting.  I love art.  I love life.  Life itself is a vessel - it holds every emotion we hold dear, even the bitter tough ones of struggle.  Please don't forget that struggle itself, is a beautiful, passionate, life affirming emotion.  But I digress - the point of this particular post is to discuss being 'outside the realm'.  When I speak about that, I am talking about digital or even traditional film based SLR cameras.  They are wonderful tools to create an approximation of an image - but they are sooooo incredibly removed from what the eye/brain does that it is really kind of amusing.  Really.  I mean, the only reason an image from a digital camera looks 'ok' is because of the amazing things the mind does with visual data.  Did you know that light falls off at the square of the distance?  What, you might ask, does that mean?  OK, fair enough - if you are two feet from a light source, the energy is four times less (2 to the second  power) - if you are four feet from a light source, the energy is 16 times less (four to the second power) - if you are 8 feet from a light source the energy is 64 times less (8 to the second power) - hmmm, a fun term - ok, you're in a water slide (well, this is an 'inverse' example) and it drops off very quickly, you gain speed rapidly - at an accelerated pace - that is how quickly light is dropping off - but you look at a wall or a scene and you don't 'see' this drop off - what is happening?  The mind is compensating - light energy is in fact dropping off but not in perception, the mind knows this and creates an 'inverse gradient' - because it 'knows' the color of a wall is all one -a camera does not know this - that is why the photographer struggles with 'even' illumination - but a painter knows this.  There are other, crazier things regarding color.  In my e-book on Curious Color I mention that one color can appear another - in fact, grey can 'appear' yellow or blue or any other color - and an artist captures this but a camera does not - because it is 'Outside The Realm'. 


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