Saturday, August 25, 2007

Lori Stotko and Stuart Nafey

Even though I'm sometimes a photography art snob, I have to admit that I get a real kick out of light drawing, also known as light doodling. Basically, you take small light source, such as a penlight, point it towards the camera, and quickly draw something while keeping the shutter open. There's even a Flickr pool dedicated to light drawing. I've only tried this a few times. Although it's a lot of fun, I admit that my results are better described as "doodles", as opposed to "art".

("Light Doodle" by Andy Frazer)

Last week I came across the work of Half Moon Bay photographers Lori Stotko and Stuart Nafey, who go by the Flickr name UnklStuart. Lori and Stuart have created a set of beautiful light drawings that incorporate multiple colors, as well as relatively complicated free-hand drawings.

(Southwest, by Lori Stotko and Stuart Nafey)

One of the elements that I love about the above photograph is that it incorporates the natural nighttime background into the light drawing. Lori explained her process to me:

Lori, can you explain this photograph to me?

My husband and I are from Half Moon Bay California, and the howling dog is on our coastal links with the Ritz [Carlton] glittering in the background. He uses a Nikon D80 digital camera with various ISO settings, dark or mostly dark environment with long exposures.

Where did you get the colored lights?

We fabricated some special LED wands with Radio Shack supplies, designed with easy on-off push buttons and exposed bulbs. I have a variety of wands, multi-color and individual LED bulbs.

Are the figures really done free-hand?

I do all the mid-air drawing free-hand and have just discovered that I seem to have a knack for spatial relations on air designs. I will sometimes use my free hand to keep myself oriented in mid-air. We are just getting started and have some other ideas we hope to pull off.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

House Hunting

Nazraeli Press has re-issued Todd Hido's book House Hunting, which features Todd Hido's night photographs of suburban homes taken at night. Many of these homes are in the town of Pacifica, just south of San Francisco.

(Photo by Todd Hido)

KQED also has a Spark episode where they follow Todd on one of his night shooting adventures. I've always seen an inherent creepiness in Todd's photos because I can imagine a homeowner coming out and yelling at me if I ever tried something like this. I recently got yelled at by a neighbor because I looked at his house while I was walking past it one night. Kudos to Todd for completing an entire project on this topic.

Thanks to Robert Kerwin for posting this on the Nocturnes Message Board.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Jan Stradtmann

German photographer Jan Stradtmann's M.G. Allotments series has some interesting shots of shacks photographed at night with additional white illumination.

(Photo by Jan Stradtmann)

I couldn't find any explanation of this project. So I guess it's one of those take-a-look-and-draw-your-own-conclusions things.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Night Photography Lexicon

Have you ever found yourself struggling to describe to people what you're trying to accomplish when you do night photography? There's an interesting discussion going on at Joe Reifer's Words blog regarding the language (or lexicon) of photographing abandoned buildings at night.

As Joe describes,

[T]he point of this exercise is to help further establish a language about abandoned places night photography (APNP) that connects this work to earlier precedents in the photography and art worlds.

My main purpose in this task is to help educate influencers in the art world and customers in order to better promote this type of work. The question is involves a combination of self discovery, art history, and marketing. Reducing the mystery of APNP down to more simple concepts that can be more easily understood by both the art world and the general public will benefit all photographers working in this genre.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Kevin Bewersdorf

I came across Kevin Bewersdorf's site via Brian Ulrich's wonderful Not If But When blog. Kevin rides around town on his bike taking photographs with a point-and-shoot camera. Some of his shots are quite impressive. This one even qualifies as a night photograph.

("X Fog", by Kevin Bewersdorf)

If you're browsing through Kevin's site, check out his hilarious essays "Art School Made Me An Asshole" and "My Run-in with a Skater Mom".

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Brian Lesteberg

Brain Lesteberg's photo below is from a documentary project titled "Raised to Hunt". Brian is a former student of Alec Soth. In fact, I came across this photograph from Alec's blog.

("Casselton Cold Storage, Casselton, ND" . 2003, by Brian Lesteberg)

I love how so many elements in this shot all converge towards the door in the center of the image: the lighting, the bricks, the pathway in the snow and, especially, the "DEER" arrow.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Todd Hido on "Spark"

A few weeks ago I posted about a "Spark" video on-line that included interviews with Bay Area photographer Henry Wessel. "Spark" is a KQED production about Bay Area artists and art productions. Their archives include shows about many well-known artists, including night photographer Todd Hido. Todd is best known about night photographers from his book "House Hunting", which includes numerous photographs of quiet, suburban homes at night. Many of those photographs were taken on foggy nights in Pacifica, CA.

("Untitled #2690", by Todd Hido)

Click here for a direct link to the "Spark" segment on Todd Hido.