Advanced Technique & Process 2A: ‘No Daylight’ Proposal (first draft)

1st October 2014

“No Daylight” Project Proposal (First Draft)

Olivia Wilford


For this brief I am wanting to photograph quite late at night when the sun has set. I desire to photograph areas around my neighbourhood where the lighting looks especially good. For example, there is a car park, a snicket (moody lighting), the quarry that looks on to all the city lights, my road at night gets very empty, the backstreets and even using the actual street lamps as a backdrop. My plan is to expose the scene I want to shoot completely correct, however then add a burst of flash and have a person, jumping in the air, illuminated by the flash. I want to call this project either ‘Bursts of Light’ or ‘A Light in the Darkness’. It will be obvious because of the dark sky and street lights that the images will be shot at night, but then to have an illuminated figure caught in the air would add quite a contrast.

I will be using my DSLR on a tripod and my speed lite flash. I will work out the correct exposure by doing timed exposures, doubling the amount of light each time and seeing which looks best. However when the flash is added, I am trying to research and find out how I can get only the person illuminated and not the background, or have any shadows behind them. I have read up a little on Rear-curtain sync flash and so far this is sounding like the best option. I wish to research this more and practice the technique. This will be a challenge for me to gain the correct exposure for each the subject and the background as a whole image. The rear-curtain sync effect appears to have the look of combining two different photographs. However this is the aesthetic I desire to create – a real contrast between the different sections of the photograph – working well together, yet still standing significantly on their own. I want to shoot in colour because the lighting is very atmospheric at night and on a long exposure. However it would be a complimentary aesthetic to, in post-production, to keep the person in colour and make the background a dramatic black and white, similar to some of Brassai’s ‘Paris by Night’ style photographs.

I was inspired for this project partly by the photographer Brian Kuhlmann and his ‘Night Life’ series. I loved the expression of the people on the photographs (having a great time) and also how he used flash to capture people in mid-air, the still movement. I found the photos gave a comical yet fun feel to his work.

I will be using myself and other people that I know who are willing to participate and be a jumping model! I want their emotions to display joy, life and happiness – a contrast to the moody and threatening scene(s) they will be surrounded by.

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