February 13, 2004
Light of Day

creative.jpgBecause of my unusual household schedule, I usually don’t leave my apartment until mid-afternoon. But recently I’ve had the good fortune to get away from my desk in the morning. I’ve noticed how different the light is at 10 am.

Shadows of trees point in northwest across the sidewalks; light slips through the gaps between buildings to illuminate windows and metal railings. I’ve noticed architectural details that never caught my attention before—flagpoles, ledges, the color of bricks.

Light is key to visual arts. The Impressionists cared more about light than subject matter. Painters flock to Firenze for golden Italian light and many Great Masters were really masters of light. Noir film thrives on its absence. Stained glass uses light twice—reflected and transmitted. Photographers know that one of the best times of day for shooting is the “magic hour” just before sundown.

Try to get outside today at a time you’d usually be indoors. Take a close look at the light and shadows around you. Does your familiar landscape reveal secrets and hidden treasures?

Posted by kuri at February 13, 2004 09:35 AM


I couldn’t agree more.

I have really noticed the difference in light as well. Around 1:30 in the afternoon the shaddows are already long making it feel like later in the afternoon. I have often thought that the time zone in Japan is about an hour off - or at least an hour different to what I associate with the proper time for dawn and dusk. Considering that our brain is somewhat influenced by sunlight (hence jetlag being helped by sitting in the sunshine)it is not as trivial as one may first think.

Posted by: Tracey on February 13, 2004 11:24 AM

oh. I did this morning. What a timely post. This morning felt like spring… a bit chilly still but such beautiful light. I have always been amazed by how sun light looks different here. From November to April are the best month to enjoy that light I feel. I think what is new for me is the fact that the sky is so blue all the time without clouds. I had never seen that in my life before coming to Japan. And the cityscapes looks so different on a blue background than on a grey or white european one. And this sun light is soooo yellow I feel. so warm… I feel like I already wear sunglasses of some sort. I looks like the city has a tintl.
I love this place. Today I am in an even better mood than ytd which was already the best mood I have been in for weeks.

Posted by: Paul on February 13, 2004 12:15 PM

“LIGHT”? WOTS that?
In the winter I go to work in the fetid bowels of Japan Inc in the dark and return in the dark. It nice , warm and dark in here now so I can bask in the cheerful glow on my 20-inch LED. Ahhhhhh, now that’s Japan living. :-)

Posted by: taro on February 13, 2004 12:17 PM

And photograph means writing with light, doesn’t it?

Posted by: M Sinclair Stevens on February 14, 2004 11:37 PM
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