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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Gallery Eight: Light and shadow shape meaning > Bankerís house, Pingyao, China, 2007
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Bankerís house, Pingyao, China, 2007
14-SEP-2007

Bankerís house, Pingyao, China, 2007

Pingyao was the first banking center in China. Lei Livtai established the country's first draft bank here. A statue of Livtai stands in his house, which, like much of this ancient city, still stands. I exposed for the light coming through the decorative door panes. Just enough light falls on the statue to define itís profile. It seems to float in space, just as Livtaiís spirit pervades the house where he lived and died.

Leica V-Lux 1
1/15s f/3.2 at 12.1mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Phil Douglis19-Nov-2007 19:23
And that was exactly what I intended this image to do, Mo. As Tim points out, the "light of the present, shines on history."
monique jansen19-Nov-2007 12:43
Transports you back to the past of this town
Phil Douglis24-Oct-2007 00:08
Thanks, Tim -- another well seen metaphor. This image is about both past and present.
Tim May23-Oct-2007 21:10
"just as Livtai's spirit pervades the house where he lived and died" ... a the light of the present shines on history.
Phil Douglis13-Oct-2007 15:39
Thanks, Cyndy -- this image is about the meaning of light and shadow. The decorative panes move deeply into the frame, gradually diminishing in intensity, just as time itself gradually fades from memory. The negative space here, the field of shadows embracing both the statue and the panes, represents what Lei Livtai knew, and we don't, leaving it to our imaginations to make a guess.
Cyndy Largarticha13-Oct-2007 07:44
The lighting on this is exquisite, the shadows deep and rich. I love that you allowed the negative space to play a part in this drama of elements. Truly inspiring.
Phil Douglis28-Sep-2007 04:43
Again, I am looking first at the light. I saw the way it came through the panes and hit the bust of Livtai. The rest of the image -- finding the right spot, the right exposure, the right composition -- followed.
Patricia Lay-Dorsey28-Sep-2007 03:47
In this image I see Livtai himself looking up from his desk to see the light streaming in through the decorative door panes he must have loved. It is more than the spirit of the man I feel here; it is the man himself. And a lot of that is due to your choice of exposure, Phil. Perfectly done!
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