Lighting Journal: 09-04 (wk1)

Friday 9-11

11:30 am location: my house. Cambridgeport residential neighborhood, tree-lined street.  The sky is grey and it is very overcast.  There are no shadows.  Shapes look flat because of the lack of shadows, but colors, especially yellows, seem extra vivd, giving depth to the area.

2 pm location: MIT campus, building 1, looking at the Charles. The sky is more white than grey.  Colors seem a bit dull and shapes are flat.  It is kind of murky out, colors and details seems to be eaten up.

4 pm location: MIT campus, bldg 5, looking East. The sky is still grey, but the light is a bluish-grey.

6 pm location: MIT campus, N51 museum. The sky was a bright blue for a moment, with an incredible glow.  Thick, milky grey clouds blew in and brought the rain back.  It is very bright out.

9 pm location: Cambridge, on Main Street. It has gotten dark and the sky is a dark blue, but the clouds glow a dark grey.  It is still raining.  Everything is wet and reflecting the light from car lights, street lights, and restaurant signs.

12 pm location: Cambridge, Plymouth Street. It is surprisingly light for being so late at night.  The thick white clouds hold the light and keep the sky glowing like a big nightlight.  I am on the roof of a house and you can see all across Cambridge.  Everything is lit up.

Saturday 9-12

11:30 am location: my house, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. Sky is white grey and it is still raining.  There are vague shadows.  They aren’t so much distinct shadoes, but more of a slight tonal difference along edges.  There is a yellow haze in the air.

1 pm location: my house, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is white and it is much brighter than earlier.  It has stopped raining, but the water is dripping from the trees.  There is a vague white light.  Objects are saturated making them dark.  The white light sticks to the edges of the wet trees and wooden handrails.  There aren’t distinct shadows.

5 pm location: my house, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is warm grey.  The sky seems to be backlit.  There is a bluish tint in the sky.  The ambient light reveals details, but doesn’t create shadows.  Instead, there are subtle differences in edges.

6:30 pm location: Weymouth, on the highway. The sky is dark grey with a  pinkish orange glow.  It is raining, but instead of being “dreary,” colors are very bold.  Whites and yellows are brighter, and reds are more saturated.  There are subtle shadows in the brightness.  The reflective colors are a pink-purple.

9 pm location: Plymouth, near the beach. The sky is dark, but glowing orang-purple.  It is an incredible color.  It is very deep, so there much be thick cloud cover to hold such thick color.  Shadows are from artifical lights it seems.

11 pm location: my house, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is glowing white, most likely from the light from Fenway.  When it is cloudy, like it is tonight, the light illuminates the sky as if it were a full moon.  You can make out silhouettes against the bright sky.

Sunday 9-13

9 am location: home, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is very bright white.  There are visible shadows, which makes me think the cloud cover is thinner than yesterday and that maybe it will clear up today.  The reflective light appears to be white, but it is milky instead of clear.

12 pm location: MIT campus, studio 5, looking East. The sky is blue with a few fluffy white clouds.  The light is clear and crisp and you can see far in the distance.  Shadows fall almost directly below objects.  The shadows fade in and out as clouds pass over the sun.  When the sun is out in full, the shadows are sharp and specific.  There is a big contrast between the deep, dark shadow and the bright shade of grass.  The light and shadows reveal objects so that there are clear boundary lines between edges.

3 pm location: home, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is bright blue and very clear.  Shadows are longer and have spread.  They seem to be covering more everything.  There is a shimmering play of light and dark as bits of sun peak through the trees.  Reflective light is a warm golden blanket.  Architectural details are obscured by the play of shapes created by the shadows.

6 pm location: Harvard Square. The sun is setting.  Looking in one direction, the sky is a deep, dark blue.  In the other, it is very bright: a medley of baby blues, pinks and bright whites.  There is a bright blue glow in the air.  Instead of the shadows that shape buildings, the edges of things catch the light.  Ledges and windowsills are highlighted.  Colors look rich.

9 pm location: home, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is dark dark blue, with violet tones.  There are many lights on in the houses along my tree lined street.  The trees obscure much of the sky from sight.  There is enough ambient light from the sky that you can see the main forms of buildings and trees by their outlines, but you can’t really see details, materials, or colors.

11 pm location: home, Cambridgeport residential neighborhood. The sky is very dark blue, almost black.  It isn’t as bright as a couple of hours ago.  You cannot see the outline of buildings as readily as before.  There is a surprising amount of light pollution in the streets of Cambridge.  An orange flow lights up the asphalt, car tops, and two large trees on either end of the street.  Some houses recede into the darkness, while others are awake as daytime with their porch lights shining brightly.


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