Hear curator Sarah Farrar talk about this boldly lit photograph.
<P>This recording was created for Te Papa’s in-gallery audio tour.</P>
<P>All photographs are, by definition, creations of light, but some, like this one, use light itself as subject matter. </P>
<P>In this image, two bicycle wheels are captured by hard sunlight. The effect is that the shadows and patterns of light seem to have almost as much substance as real objects. </P>
<P>In fact, at a casual glance, the wheels and their shadows are a bit hard to visually separate . Where exactly are the wheels in relation to one another? How big are they? How much depth is there in the picture?</P>
<P>In the end, the image functions on two levels. Yes, it’s a depiction of three-dimensional reality – it shows objects in the real world. That’s what we expect a photo to do.</P>
<P>However, it was never really Eric Lee-Johnson’s intention just to document some bicycle wheels. Because of the way he composed and lit this image, we see it mainly as a play of abstract shapes. It is an image of silhouette and shadow – visual effects created by light.</P>