Natural light changes with the time of day, time of year and place on earth. These changes effect both our visual perception (how we see the world) and our biology (how we feel). Artists have been exploring the interaction of light and visual perception since at least the 1500s (when the Caravaggisti experimented with the impact of natural light on their subjects). The way we see people, things and spaces is profoundly dependent upon the light illuminating the object. In the 1890s Monet created a series of paintings of haystacks to illustrate how profoundly lighting conditions impact our perception. The bright blue light of high-noon highlights whites, as well as blue and green colors, while the soft warm light of sunset makes skin tones glow, and red, orange and yellow colors shine. As many of us know intuitively, everyone looks beautiful when they are well lit!
Six examples of Monet Haystacks painted at different times of the day and different times of year – excerpted from: http://www.artsology.com/monet-painting-light-with-haystacks.php
The advent of digital photography (and Photoshop) is enabling artists to capture and explore how changes in natural light affect how we see the world. Note that the daily changes in light are quite profound, but most of us don’t notice until we show them side-by-side. See below for several of my favorite ‘time slice’ collages where artists combine a series of photos from time-lapse sequences to illustrate how natural light changes over just a few hours. I have not yet seen this approach applied to people or interior spaces so please email me if you can help me out!
Dan Marker Moore – Timeslice in Toronto – 40 photos over 1 hour and 53 minutes.
Stephen Wilkes Day to Night Sequence – Central Park
Qi Wei’s exploration of light – Solo Tree Sunrise, 2014