Robert Brook has produced some interesting work around night-time industrial and urban landscapes. The colour pallette is subdued and the contrast is somewhat limited, both of which combine to convey a sense of stillness and quiet – appropriate for a night image. He avoids the specular ‘starburst’ in most of his work but I feel they are a little oversharpened.
Much of the imagery on Google Images returned from a “night photography” search is concerned with the novelty value of seeing things lit up at night – ferris wheels, fireworks, and stars – but this segment of the course is, I believe, concerned with the ‘beauty’ of artificial light. Brook’s photograph above is different, it does have a distinct beauty even though the subject matter is utterly mundane; it’s the light that does it, not the content.
In his book Paris de Nuit (1933) Brassai included the source of illumination – the street lighting – to convey the extremes of shadow and light which occur when the light source is close to the subject. He often worked in foggy, possibly smoggy conditions which added an ethereal quality to the light. Again, the subjects are not wholly relevant here, it is the light which is important and provides the interest in the photographs.
Mark Jaremko is fascinated by the conjunction of the sky and water and what happens there. He photographs at night when the moon is full and his images emerge as delicately hued with dashes of bright light, very little in the way of actual form but plenty of interesting light and atmosphere. The artificially lit elements of his work almost always inhabit a thin, sharp line across the centre of the frame and though they occupy a small part their influence on the balance of the photographs is profound.
Lisa Tyson Ennis
The long exposures required for Ennis’s night work create a diffuse, almost smeared effect in the highlight areas. She summarise her approach:
” I shoot what the eye can not see. Over time, with extended exposures, film is able to collect the changing light. As light passes across the landscape, the film gathers a composite of light as it travels with time. It is this resulting quality of light that so interests me and which seems to suggest a certain timelessness. I work solely with historical processes – large and medium format cameras, black and white film, handmade toners and oil paints. In the field, I work in extremely low light situations, searching for that ethereal but fleeting unison of light and landscape which appears simultaneously both representational and symbolic. In the darkroom, I hand print each piece, painting with light to enhance and intensify the image collected on the film. By seeking subjects that are visually quiet, the quality of the light itself becomes a large part of the subject and the essence of the piece”
Photographer Lisa Tyson Ennis. http://lisatysonennis.com/pgs/about_the_artist.php (accessed February 23, 2017).
Night photography by Robert Brook. At: http://www.less-light.com/ (Accessed on 23 February 2017)
Paris de Nuit Brassai 1936
Lisa Tyson Ennis fine Art Photography. At: http://www.lisatysonennis.com/ (Accessed on 23 February 2017)
MarkJaremko. (2012) Mark Jaremko photographic. At: http://www.markjaremkophoto.com/index.php (Accessed on 23 February 2017)