Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Journey into darkness

OK, a slightly over-dramatic post title.

The Landscapist is calling on readers to offer up comments on The Nocturnes juried exhibit shortlist, and on night photography in general.

I can't say I'm taken with the shots featuring weird colours and odd angles. Seems too much like technique for its own sake. I find I can't get past the colours to see anything more in the images. The more subtle colour renditions work much better. I suppose it is in line with my general aversion to the Velvia look, too.

After forming your own opinions, it is well worth reading the Juror comments about night photography. Some interesting food for thought. I pretty much agree with these statements:

My attraction to NP is essentially the same as it is to any photography - I long to see what others make visible... If there is any genre of the medium that is,
by it's very nature, better suited to making visible what might never have seen, it has to be NP.

For many, the night is a place of darkness and shadow, both literally and

which distinguish the good night photography (NP) from the bad. But I hesitate on agreeing with the positive thoughts on the dark. Quite frankly, darkness, especially alone out in the wilds, gives me the creeps. I imagine all sorts of creatures out there ready to eat me. Over-active imagination, I guess.

Sometimes it's true, I'm sure. Take my brief foray into astro-photography. Out in the wilds of Mongolia a couple of years ago, away from the camp to get a clear view of the sky and avoid any torchlight (the only light for many miles). Sat in the dark, I could hear the approach of a herd of horses, which was pretty common during the night. They were still some way off. Then something a lot smaller on 4 legs padded behind me. Just cruising along, I suppose, but there are a few predators out there. Me and the kit were back in the tent in very short order.

From the juried set, it was the shots that gave me that same sense of paranoia about the dark that captured the mood of night for me.

Of course, night in the city is a whole other thing. It is a time of transformation. Area that are quiet by day come alive with celebration while the busy working areas are given over to the darkness.

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