Over the course of an entire year, I recorded the intensity and color of light as it appeared in my studio’s diffused overhead skylight at 6PM.  I used a constant aperture and shutter speed, which allowed me to capture the relative brightness and dimness of the sun’s light at that specific time of the day throughout the four seasons.

Periods of successively increasing or diminishing light in the spring and fall became particularly interesting to me.  I was curious to make photographs of these transition periods lasting roughly thirty days and make visible the subtle shifts in color and intensity at that specific hour of the day.

As photography morphs into a hybrid, digitized medium, I find myself increasingly drawn instead to photography’s earliest roots in western culture, and the first attempts to create light sensitive paper. 

 Sir John Herschel’s experimentation with light sensitive iron salts in the early 1840’s allowed for the discovery of the cyanotype process.  He combined newly discovered potassium ferricyanide with ferric ammonium citrate to create papers that changed color when exposed to daylight, and then turned deep blue when withdrawn from the sun and briefly washed in water.  Any flower or leaf pressed against this prepared paper would leave a marvelous imprint of itself, in all its miniature complexity.  It became a simple and direct means to have nature record itself, without any labor of the artist’s hand. 

In this project, I have reduced the cyanotype process down to its elemental, chemical essence.  When the light sensitive iron salt crystals that have been evenly distributed across a paper’s surface are subjected to the blue and ultraviolet wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, the radiation excites the electrons in the outer shells of the elements involved.  This reaction itself, visible and permanent as a shade of blue, is the subject of my project.

The thought then occurred to me to subject a series of prepared papers in order to record nothing more than the UV radiation present in the earth’s atmosphere at one particular point in time around the globe in eight different locations at roughly the same latitude.  Each piece of paper would be a document, not a mere abstraction, revealing varying levels of daylight as the earth rotates on its diurnal axis.

My goal is to present this daily phenomenon – so common and integral to our lives that we hardly notice it – in a manner recognizable to us as it never can be in real time.  

This project uses still photographs to record subtle gradations in color of the overhead sky as the earth rotates on its daily axis. Specifically, a series of photographs are made of the sky on one side of the earth as it moves from dusk to night, and simultaneously on the other side of the earth, as it moves from night to dawn. 

An exposure is made on 4x5 inch sheets of Fujichrome film every two minutes during a 38 minute interval in both locations and uses the same aperture and shutter speed.


Performed Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Dusk, 6:54PM- 7:32PM Kinasa, Japan.
Dawn 4:54AM-5:32AM Londonderry, Vermont.
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