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Light Maps

The changing color of daylight is recorded at different intervals of time using a piece of white sailcloth attached to a camera lens. The resulting photographs are cropped to vertical strips, then assembled to make one print; a portrait of the light in one place, in one timeframe.

At the base of each strip, small numbers indicate the time of day for a given frame. Sunrise and sunset times are marked when relevant. Titles indicate the location in longitude / latitude coordinates.

Excerpt from a review by Wendy Atwell, 2007.

In the Light Maps series, [Allen] clips a screen, made of the same white sailcloth he uses for his kites, onto his camera. With the camera’s automatic light-balancing sensor disabled, Allen photographs light from a single point, identified in the works’ titles by each site’s geographic coordinates.Sunset – One Photograph Every Two Minutes / 29° 27’ 8” N ~ 98° 30’ 4” W / 03 – 16 – 2007 conveys a delightfully surprising variety of colors. Allen is intent on recording an unmediated and pure representation of color as created by the sun, intervening atmospheric particles and everything else that conspires to make the color of the day… [These works] felt like a gift, as if he had done me this great favor of caring enough to record a beauty that is always passing and ephemeral. As records of moments that technically cannot be observed by the human eye, the Light Maps works give the gift of awareness and prompt a desire to look more carefully.