Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Light Drawing

I have always thought of night photography as 'light drawing' - the process of film, or a light sensor capturing the only available light and leaving it's mark which eventually becomes the photograph or image we look at. I have experimented with this for years - from using torches and lazer pens to literally draw lines in front of the camera to make interesting 'light graffiti' images, to going out with tripods and cable releases to capture night images of landmarks surrounded by artificial lighting and the movements of car head and tail lights.

The element of chance is what really keeps me returning to working with darkness and light in photography, and although you can make a visually interesting image pretty easily using simple methods, making super striking images can usually only takes a bit of forethought and a lot of experimentation.

I just spotted an image that shows that there were people experimenting with these techniques 60 years ago. This image was taken by LIFE photographer Gjon Mili who visited and hung out with Picasso in 1949. See the rest of the set here... This one is my favourite - a fantastic portrait.

1 comment:

Felix Grant said...

As a budding young photographer in the early 1960s, those Mili images of Picasso were a tremendous influence on me. I spent lot of time and film experimenting with everything from matches and candles to munitions, from 1960-1975...

It's good to know that they still exert power!