'via Blog this'
An interesting piece in Slate tells us of an emerging photographic art called Light Painting; the appeal , I suppose, is that the photographers eschew computers for the most part and create their effects "in the camera". There is the thrill of zen purity and existential exactness of the manipulated image being formed at the precise moment a shutter opens and shuts. Heather Murphy describes the process rather well and enthuses over the results to the extent that she and other fans of the form have witnessed mountains being moved and skies being opened.
Hyperbole, of course, gets you only so far and the article reminds of the times that I've read brilliant , favorable reviews of novels, movies, albums only to be let dramatically disappointed when the item itself is presented, either through purchase or as a gift. Prose sounds mannered and unnatural in their literary styling, movies drag or become helplessly vague in their attempts at atmosphere and suggested emotion, the music on the record albums makes you think alternately of different kinds of cream, too thick or too thin, neither of them satisfying.
Murphy's article didn't sink me into one of those minor-depressions-bordering-on-untoward rage, but there was the let down all the same. The slide show of the light paintings described were nifty indeed, strange swirls and circles of light suggesting sorcerer's light or neon lights enacting their own form of back lit mitosis, but there seems to be a limit to what you can achieve here. The accumulated effect is something like coming to an end of view of a grand son's collected finger paints; so many bold swirls, splashes, dashes in so many rich, crashing colors. Your jaw begins to hurt from all the polite smiles and a bad taste develops in the back of your throat, something acid and burning like a coarse guilt over telling even polite lies about how wonderful something is when it is, in fact, awful and killing you by the inch.
I hope Heather Murphy actually likes this kind of thing, because I would rather not think that professional writers of any sort can in good faith string so many rosy descriptions over what appears to be junior league surrealism.