28 Critical Reflections: random 8 to 14

The specular highlight often reflects the color of the light source, not the color of the reflecting object. This is because many materials have a thin layer of clear material above the surface of the pigmented material. For example plastic is made up of tiny beads of color suspended in a clear polymer and human skin often has a thin layer of oil or sweat above the pigmented cells. Such materials will show specular highlights in which all parts of the color spectrum are reflected equally. On metallic materials such as gold the color of the specular highlight will reflect the color of the material.[6]

Oh yes, there were birds, but not like the birds you see today. Big as eagles and coloured like kingfishers. They roosted on the ledges of the towers, and under the ramps. Long curving ribbon ramps, with... Obviously these were too heavy to fly, so they had to go on the roads. Very fast. Automated, of course.[2]

I get alien, extra terrestrial, other- or even non-worldly: something this world could not 'naturally' produce: spacecraft, alien, non-human edifice. And yet I can take the alien view, I can see out the portholes, glimpse the alien view from the exposed innards. Paradoxically, the alien structures, Hepworth's sculptures in her garden, sit wonderfully, Barthesian blissfully well in our 'natural' world. They accentuate what 'just happens to be' as if it were special: which it, of course, is.[4]

Even admitting that what happens in a camera obscura is something 'similar' to the phenomenon of the specular reflection (which is not questionable), what changes is the fact that an image remains traced somewhere, and any successive discussion about its iconic properties deals with the imprinted image and not with the process itself.[3]

There is an inside and an outside to every form. When they are in special accord, as for instance a nut in its shell or a child in the womb, or in the structure of shells or crystals, or when one senses the architecture of bones in the human figure, then I am most drawn to the effect of light. Every shadow cast by the sun from an ever-varying angle reveals the harmony of the inside to outside.[7]

The term specular means that light is perfectly reflected in a mirror-like way from the light source to the viewer. Specular reflection is visible only where the surface normal is oriented precisely halfway between the direction of incoming light and the direction of the viewer; this is called the half-angle direction because it bisects (divides into halves) the angle between the incoming light and the viewer. Thus, a specularly reflecting surface would show a specular highlight as the perfectly sharp reflected image of a light source. However, many shiny objects show blurred specular highlights.[6]

My left hand is my thinking hand. The right is only a motor hand. This holds the hammer. The left hand, the thinking hand, must be relaxed, sensitive. The rhythms of thought pass through the fingers and grip of this hand into the stone.[7]

28 Critical Reflections random 15 to 21
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Sources

[1] http://www.neworleanspast.com/art/id62.html

[2] Ken MacLeod, Reflective Surfaces, New Scientist, 2009.

[3] Umberto Eco, A Theory of Semiotics, Indiana University Press, 1979.

[4] Clive Fencott, Reflections on seeing River Form in Barbra Hepworth's garden in St. Ives.

[5] http://www.flickr.com/photos/nigelhomer/316548379/

[6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Specular_highlight

[7] http://www.barbarahepworth.org.uk/texts/

[8] tripadvisor.co.uk