Picturing Athens: the ever-present light

Jan Sanders Regional Director of Mediterranean Programs


October 12, 2017

In the Picturing Athens class, students use the photographic lens to create and curate their own stories of Athens. Each week is marked by a photographic theme chosen by the students. This week’s theme grew out of our focus on noticing details in the urban fabric such as lampposts, drain pipes and, our theme, doors and windows.

The ever-present and unique light of Greece continues to draw the students as in Legacy, the window in a stone wall image here. Light is especially important when shooting in black and white or when using editing tools to turn a color shot into a monochrome one. Where is the source? Is the contrast too high or low? The light transforms something ordinary into something expressive as in the image Best Friends Since Day 1. Shooting in black and white also can also enhance the impact an image has on the viewer such as the strong line of the Corinth Canal in Alone.

This week we began paying more careful attention to composition, to framing the subject. Filling the frame with a coherent, expressive design can turn an everyday boring subject like the drying laundry in Kitchen Window into a study in geometry and, in this image, a study too in that gorgeous light.