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Saturday, April 9, 2016

Why Notan?

Let's take a little journey with notan.
Using this photo as our subject without doing a notan study, we might ignore some key shadow patterns that unite the composition.  Because we know there is white on both horses and a light colored fence behind them, we might not notice that the majority of the fence is in shadow and that portions of the white of the horses also are in shadow just as portions of their dark colors are in light.  Neither might we see that terrible tangent where the top of the horses' backs mesh with the bottom fence line back of the pasture.
Any strategy that causes us to refocus our attention enables us to discover things that otherwise we might not see.  By switching our focus from horses to shadow shapes, not allowing ourselves to see the images themselves, we discover an inner-connectedness within the fields of light and the fields of shadow.

Notice how the upper field of light merges into one shape when we get rid of the tangent by lowering the edge of the pasture shape.  And notice the pattern of not-in-shadow that emerges when we acknowledge the light on the dark colors of the frontal horse.
Notice how the upper field of light merges into one shape when we get rid of the tangent by lowering the edge of the pasture shape.  And notice the pattern of not-in-shadow that emerges when we acknowledge the light on the dark colors of the frontal horse.

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