Four Night Photographers
Dhruv Malhotra is an insomniac. To match that: he’s a hard worker and he knows what he’s doing. He’s been really busy too, alongside taking a mind-bending 9 classes this semester at his residency at SVA (most people take 5 or 6), he recently was in Brighton’s Photo Biennial, curated by Martin Parr. His most recent work narrowed from nightscapes around India to people sleeping on the street and makeshift cots. For some of these photographs he would sit next to his camera for up to an hour as it was exposing a sleeping worker, who most likely was oblivious to the whole ordeal. I wonder what Dhruv Malhotra did while waiting for the shutter to close.
Well, I suppose that last question could be more apt for Christina Seely, whose exposure times were sometimes up to 4 hours. Her work in the series Lux is concerned around the theme of light pollution. She sets up her camera outside of a city and captures all that it radiates. The sky in the photographs don’t really look like night skies anymore, rather, they look as if an infinitely large spotlight beamed upon the city. The picture above is of Edinburgh. I never knew so much light could come from there.
Seely isn’t really preaching anti-pollution here, though. As she puts it:
“Since the dawn of electricity, man-made light has also meant and still does mean many very positive things, like ingenuity, progress, growth, seduction, entertainment and romance, all of which are fundamentally positive.” (via DailyServing’s interview with her)
Alejandro Chaskielberg’s work is “on the border of reality,” as he uses real people in fictional situations. In 2009 Chaskielberg was given the Burn Emerging Photographer Grant to finish this series, titled The High Tide. What I find most striking about this work is his mastery of the depth of field. He uses a large format camera at midnight using only light from the moon, a few LED lights and a handheld strobe.
Troy Paiva takes long exposures at night with a unique approach. He lights his derelict settings with vivid colours which gives them a bit of life. It’s actually really hard to shoot at abandoned places without making it look cheesy, but Paiva has a recognisable style and it’s one that keeps me browsing for more than a couple of minutes.
By: Romke Hoogwaerts
Photos: ©Dhruv Malhotra, ©Christina Seely, ©Alejandro Chaskielberg & ©Troy Paiva