Night Lightscapes

In my photographic explorations, I discovered the work of Ernst Haas and found myself particularly enamored with his use of abstraction in capturing the ethereal beauty of ocean and water ripples. This resonated deeply with me, and I sought to replicate that sense of abstract permanence through my own lens, this time focusing on the nocturnal lights and shapes present in the urban landscape.

Through a process of night-time wanders through the city, I set out to create a series of abstract photographs that would not only pay homage to Haas' work, but also serve as a development of my street photography practice. The results were quite successful, as the city's lights, architecture, and reflections proved to be a veritable cornucopia of abstract compositions. Each image was imbued with a sense of serendipitous contrivance, with the interplay of light and mist creating an otherworldly montage of familiar yet distant forms.

In order to further amplify the sense of abstraction, I employed the use of a low aperture setting, which served to accentuate the sense of depth in the images. This leitmotif of abstraction was further reinforced through the use of lines, shapes, and patterns of color that imbued the images with a sense of uncertainty. These bright lines of saturated colour splashed across my images like Haas’ watery ripples, and, in a much akin way, blurring the reflected contours of surroundings into abstract art.

I was able to capture a sense of movement in the composition, adding subsidiary layers of complexity, with the use of a slow shutter speed. I’ve also turned off vibration reduction in my camera lens to exaggerate these jitters, which not only created a unique texture and, consequently, a point of interest in the image — this subtle act of ditto artificiality or human imprint adds an element of personal touch, broadening storytelling aside from just informing the ghostly composition: I’ve physically engraved my personal signature onto the images while allowing others to relate or identify in the face of familiarity and strangeness.

The location in which the images were captured also played an important role in their final form. I took care to carefully compose the shots, taking into account the interplay of light and shadow to create a sense of otherworldliness and evoke a sense of loneliness. The end result is a body of work that sculpts — rather nonchalantly — a surreal identity from abstract, minimalistic and intentional texture impressions, quite comparable to my interpretation of the works of Quentin Jones.