When I started leading photographic workshops last year I thought it would just be a summertime thing that tourists to North Devon might enjoy, boosting their photographic skills and knowledge whilst on holiday. I hadn?t anticipated just how many local people wanted photographic instruction or that I would have already had two successful workshops this year; with two more ?painting with light? type courses in my calendar:
Tuesday March 16th 5.00pm-9.00pm at Spacex Gallery in Exeter
On Saturday 27th March 6.30pm on Westward Ho! Beach
I have been a fan of night photographers for some years now, inspired by Troy Paiva, William Lesch, Mark Klett and the Nocturnes ?fellowship? often based in the desert regions of the USA. Theirs is often a purist image, black or dark blue skies, moon and star trails, old abandoned ghost towns, romantic idyllic places to get away from the heat of the day to. Here in England a clear sky without light pollution is rare, weather is unpredictable and the winter night is cold.
Over the last couple of years I have also been fascinated with the experience of being out at night, far away from the lights. Walking without a torch, on invisible footpaths, sometimes your guide being a slight gap in overhead trees, dark grey as opposed to black, which you use for direction. Your spatial awareness vastly diminished and relying of the rods in your eyes to see a world in monotone.
Photographing at night can be like painting on a blank canvas, adding light, colour, texture and form to a desaturated scene. The whole process is very photographic. Where there is no light we can open a shutter for ever without a single photon of exposure. As soon as we strike a match we have an exposure. Making an image from light is such fun.