Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Photo A Day, Day 9: Dark

Dark. Dark is easily definable, but very difficult to take a picture of, at least of its most literal meaning. I could try to take a picture of my kids sleeping in the dark, but either it wouldn’t come out or I’d use a flash and it wouldn’t be dark any more. I could attempt a photo of some dark, shadowy corner of my house, but I know I’d never be able to capture those fascinating, elusive shadows on film. I could go with literal but the adjective instead of the noun, and take a photo of someone with dark hair or eyes, or a room with dark-colored walls, although those seem a bit like cop-outs. I suppose I could try for some more figurative meaning of the word: the cover of some horror novel (I don’t really have any of those on hand), some creepy illustration from a book (I still have my parasitology textbook from college), or some similar dark-themed image. But that doesn’t really fit with the general theme of my blog.

So how to show “dark”? I was suddenly reminded of a drawing exercise I did in art class in 8th grade or so. The teacher put together a jumble of chairs and instructed us to draw the “negative space.” We were not trying to draw chairs, we were trying to draw the spaces between the chairs. But looking at the contrast, we were able to see the objects. So why not show “dark” by showing “light”? And what better example of “light” than a candle?

Without light, there is no darkness. The light, in a manner of speaking, is the creator of the darkness. So whenever there is darkness in my life, I know there is some bit of light somewhere, allowing it to be. Look for the light, and you will always find it, even in the dark. Especially in the dark.

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