What is Light?


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A selection of images first presented at the ‘What Is? Collective’ event at Heads Up Festival, Hull, March 2018.

Legendary French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson, master of candid street photography, said that the creation of each photograph has a ‘decisive moment’.  There is, he explained, a single moment in time in which light, and action, and composition combine to create the perfect image.  There is a tendency, perhaps, for photographers to think of light as fleeting and momentary.

But light is not like that.Light has a life.Light travels over time.Light bounces around a scene, reflecting off surfaces and skies at unimaginable speed.I like to think that light fills a landscape or scene, like water sloshing around inside a container.  Each particle of light, as it bounces around, is experiencing – looking – at that scene from various angles and perspectives almost all at the same time.In these photographs we are looking at various Hull landmarks from varied perspectives and angles.  The scenes are familiar.  We are in the location, yet our exact position is not precise.  We are filling that scene as we experience it.  We are light.

Jerome Whittingham – @photomoments