In Praise of Shadows

April 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

As photographers we always look out for the nice light and we praise the sun. It is the sun which shines through the trees and makes us happy with its golden color. We are astonished seeing it shining into dark alleys or caves or just between the skyscrapers which we hate so much because they block our view to the sky and to the sun. Patiently we wait for the sunrise and admire the sunset. 

"The sun never new how wonderful it was," the architect Louis Kahn said, "until it fell on the wall of a building."

Recently I came across a very nice small book a dear photographer friend recommended to me: In praise of shadows by Jun'ichiro Tanizaki. Related to the japanese art of architecture and interior design Tanizaki leads us to admire the subtle and soft light coming through the matte paper of the japanese window but also shows us how beautiful and important darkness can be. And here is when we realize that light is most beautiful in relation with shadow. 

After reading the book I went out and found the world way too bright. Suddenly I found myself in a cathedral listening to sound of silence and praising shadow. Light and darkness are just beautiful when found in balance!

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