Thursday, 8 January 2015

A Year in Pictures – 7 January 2015 – The Light That Shines In The Darkness

Today I have been able to think of nothing much besides the horrible events in Paris and have wondered what to photograph that might in any way be fitting. I offer an image of my place of work, St Olave Hart Street in the City of London.

The churchyard has over the last few months been undergoing extensive refurbishment, with new paving and the construction in contrasting shades of granite of a prayer labyrinth. There will be new bench seating and, over the next few months new planting, including special herb beds to commemorate William Turner—not the painter but the 16th-century clergyman and doctor of physic who published the first original herbal in the English language. There is also new lighting.

On this day—one of the gloomiest in terms of weather so far this winter and blighted by yet more politico-religious violence—it was the new lights that invited me to produce a photographic response. The word "photography" of course means "drawing with light" and, even over the first few days of this new year, I have sensed a growing fascination with the presence of light in the world. Looking ahead to the moment when the final image of this 365-day project will appear, I hope that by the end of 2015 my obsession with light will remain undimmed and my skill at harnessing even a small portion of its wonders will have grown.

Light illuminates and it also, as it falls on an object, enables us to discern form and so interpret what it is we are looking at. Without the light of wisdom we blunder around in the darkness of our own passions, whether or not we choose to justify their dominance over us by appeal to dogmas of hatred and destruction. Walk towards the light.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God at the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it."
The Gospel of John, Chapter 1, verses 1 to 5

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