7th October 2014
“No Daylight” Final Project Proposal
I will photograph late at night when the sun has set. I desire to photograph areas around my neighbourhood where the lighting looks especially dynamic and dramatic. There is a car park, a snicket (moody lighting), a quarry that looks on to all the city lights, the road, the backstreets and even using the actual street lamps as a backdrop. There are also other places around Bradford I will be photographing – Carr Lane (the view of the horizon at night is full of lights from the city) and Bradford City Park (there are numerous light show events on up until Christmas). 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 be exposing for between 5-10 seconds then having a burst of flash on the subject. I will be using Rear-curtain sync flash and will shoot from slightly below the subject. This will mean there are no shadows cast from the subject to the background because the subject will be against the sky. I aim to shoot at 24mm lens length to include the whole scene however to set my speed lite zoom at e.g 70mm, to get a more direct beam of light on to the subject, to minimalize the risk of lighting up the whole scene. My aim is to create the correct exposure for each the subject and the background as a whole image. The rear-curtain sync gives the shot a ‘double exposure’ aesthetic because it effectively is 2 light sources combined in one image. 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 dramatic vibe. He also had a very direct beam of flash light on his subject which creates a visible circle where the flash has fired. I like this look aesthetically because it creates a focussing point and draws the eye.
I will be collaborating with a group of part time free runners as my models, because they can give me the action that I need to create expression and movement, but they also know their own ability and the way that they can control and train their bodies to do what they want. For example using certain techniques and different ‘moves’ gives a variation of shapes and more chance of capturing them in mid-air – this will help me get the shots I desire. I want their movements to display freedom, joy, life, happiness – a contrast to the moody and threatening scene(s) they will be surrounded by. They can overcome their environment and any limitations in their mind.