Tuesday, November 03, 2009

If there appears to be nothing, there has to be something

One of the issues around night shooting is the number of unlit or dimly lit targets. These same targets might be very distinctive in daylight, but when the sun goes down, they simply disappear.

Such was the case over on the Riverpoint Campus. This campus has very distinctive art installations (sculptures), and these are very well identified in daylight. At night, some of these same art sculptures vanish into darkness. On the one hand, it might simply be easy to just skip them and move on to something better lighted. Yet, there is always the challenge of wondering what the sculptures might look like if there was ample light, and color, provided to them after dark. Perhaps these daytime art sculptures might look dramatically different when it gets dark.

One of these sculptures was a project I shot last year. This project is titled “Cooperation.”


After dark, this sculpture was nestled into complete darkness. The goal was to illuminate this project with different colors, and make it distinctive in a series of photographs. After shooting this target with different colors, and many bracketed shots while painting with color, the images could be blended into the final shot.

On Sunday night, I took a group of about 14 photogs out to the Riverpoint Campus, so they could be faced with extreme bright lights:

(Light Reading at: http://www.spokanenightscenes.com/blueroom.htm),

I also wanted them to deal with complete darkness. While there I noticed this set of three rocks in an area that I had not paid any attention to before. It looked just like a sculpture, but it was also an object I could not find on the list of Art objects identified on the Riverpoint Campus website. I was purposely carrying no cameras with me the night I took the photogs with me to Riverpoint, so I talked one of the photogs into setting up a shot with his Nikon, so I could paint these three rocks and see how distinctive this approach could be. To me, it looked dynamite, so I made a mental note to go back the following night to shoot these three rocks for myself.

Last night I went back to the Riverpoint Campus and painted the three rocks with a variety of colors, in different presentations of color on each surface. I used a wide angle lens so I could get close (11x18), and the exposures ranged from 3 to 8 seconds per exposure (at F8, ISO 100). After 102 images shot, and speaking to a number of curious passersby, it was time to call it a day as far as lighting up these rocks.

Today I settled on one presentation of the three colors used, and added it to the web:


I have a request in this morning to the WSU Art committee, so I can try and identify what this work is titled, and who the original artist is that created the work. Once I get that data I can link to that artist and identify what these three rocks are actually called.

This is an example of a piece of art that disappears after dark, but it also represents an intellectual challenge to bring it back to life using color.