home News UCC Jennings’ Gallery gears up for photography exhibition | Siobhán O’Callaghan

UCC Jennings’ Gallery gears up for photography exhibition | Siobhán O’Callaghan

jennings UCC’s Jennings’ Gallery, Brookfield is set to host a new photography exhibition later this month.

Based on the work of University cameraman, Stephen Bean, ‘Early Light and the Photographer’s Eye’ will run from February 28th to March 28th and-according to the exhibition’s catalogue-is set to highlight the contested light space between 3am and sunrise, and to explore the relationship between natural light, artificial light, the setting moon and the rising sun.  “My photographs are not a mirror of a subject but rather my response to it.” explained Mr. Bean, who is also a member of staff in UCC’s Department of Computer Science.

The exhibition evolved from the observation and perception of light during the aforementioned period, when the natural light competes with the artificial light, thus creating abstract patterns and colour shifts. The abstract images which are represented in ‘Early Light’ are naturally occurring and as opposed to simply photographing them as they are, Bean chose to represent them as he imagined . “This requires intimate knowledge of the relationship between the light of human habitation and the light of the natural world and should be seen in contrast to often sensationalized pictorial representations.” He said.

The images which feature were taken in low, colour varying natural and artificial light, with extended camera exposures. In Photography, one of the most critical visual phenomena the Photographer’s eye has to deal with is Colour and Brightness Adaptation, something that happens when the eyes automatically adjust to certain colour or brightness stimuli. Different types of light sources such as the sun, a cloud, the moon, a lamp, a white wall, all have varying amounts of colour in them. If individually, they were to shine on a sheet of white paper, the white paper should appear coloured to the eye. It does not, however. The eye perceives the sheet of paper as white. This ability of the eye to do this is known as colour/brightness adaptation.


“It’s best to think of the images in this exhibition more like landscapes than as avant-garde abstracts.” Bean continued. “As you walk through the countryside landscapes appear and if the lighting is good it may reveal itself as pertinent photographic image. These images you see here should be seen in the same light.  The Photographic process allows me to show the colour of light sources and to even juxtapose them in a Photograph.”


Mr. Bean-a graduate of Art and Photography in Brighton, England-was made a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in 2004. He has, over the years, worked with such internationally acclaimed artists as James Turrell, Franz Gertsch, Franz Stahler, Marshall Hutson, Gerd Kever and Patrick Bradfield and, perhaps most notably, has spent time as a combat cameraman. Amongst the events he was covered during this period are the wars of independence in central Africa, the air relief of Srebrenica in 1995 and the relief of Sarajevo in 1996. Where his influences are concerned, Bean points to the avant-garde and, particularly, to the work of Alexander Rodchenko, Man Ray and the Czech avant-garde photographer Jaroslav Rössler.