Social Media

From the Flat-Files: Night Photography

photo-eye Gallery From the Flat-Files: Night Photography photo-eye Gallery
The interaction of light, shadow, and extremes of contrast in a night photograph lure in the viewer — when combined with the element of duration, a good night photograph can spellbind the spectator into a magical and mysterious realm.
Linda Connor, March 8, 1936, contact print, gold toned, 10 x 8 inches, $2500

During the daytime, a photograph can be captured in just a small fraction of a second. In contrast, a night photograph may require an exposure to be as long as the night itself. Anything that might pass before the lens is recorded in ways that we cannot see with our own eyes. Someone who walks in front of the camera is recorded as a ghost. Cars drive by, leaving streaks of light from the headlights. The moon glows on the river, but the surface of moving water looks as though it were a sheet of ice. The stars drag across the sky, leaving light trails as the Earth rotates on its axis.
The interaction of light, shadow, and extremes of contrast in a night photograph lure in the viewer — when combined with the element of duration, a good night photograph can spellbind the spectator into a magical and mysterious realm.

This week we feature some of our favorites night photos from our flat-files. Take a look below!

Teri Havens

Teri Havens, Moonglow, Walsenburg, Colorado, 2014, platinum/palladium print, 13 x 18 inches, $1200

For Teri Havens, photography is primarily a means of exploring and documenting fragments of a vanishing America. In 2012, after years of photographing during the day, Teri started experimenting with night photography. Using moonlight or available streetlight, she began Last Light, a series of landscapes portraying solitary buildings and structures that have maintained their identity despite rapid cultural and urban change (see Moonglow above). To learn more about Teri Havens' work, check out the interview she did with photo-eye.

Julie Blackmon

Julie Blackmon, Garage, archival pigment ink, edition of 15, 22 x 29 inches, $3500

Focusing on the complexities of everyday life, Julie Blackmon explores the conflicting demands of parenthood. Her carefully orchestrated narratives walk a darkly humorous line between lightheartedness and the chaos of our modern lives. Garage, for instance, brings forth childhood memories of warm summer nights — roller-skating in the garage — and other night-time adventures. But, at close inspection, anxiety lurks — unsupervised children play in the witching hours, surrounded by dangerous objects.

Julie Blackmon is used to working with little available light; she often works outside, at night, with a pair of studio lights. She finds that using the darkness of the night is easier than painting a room black. You may learn more about her practice here.

Thomas Jackson

Thomas Jackson, Glow Necklaces no. 5, Edisto, SC, 2017, archival pigment print, 20 x 25 inches, edition of 4, $2500
Thomas Jackson's whimsical and paradoxical constructions are inspired by self-organizing emergent systems in nature, such as schools of fish. The artist's practice explores ways to juxtapose the man-made against the natural by creating installations that are simultaneously in harmony and in conflict with their environments. To make images like Glow Necklaces no. 5, Jackson first imagines the composition, then constructs large kinetic sculptures from colorful objects (like glow sticks), and finally photographs them, resulting in a still image. To learn more about what goes on behind Thomas Jackson's images, read our interview with him here.


Beth Moon

 Beth Moon, Hydra, archival pigment print, 20 x 30 inches, edition of 15, $2000
Humanity's relationship with the wild environment plays an important role in Beth Moon's work. Her striking series Diamond Nights was inspired by scientific studies that connect tree growth with celestial movement and astral cycles. 

For the artist, this work marked the transition from film to digital capture. Previously, the majority of Beth Moon's work was done with a medium format film camera, but the long exposure time that she needed was not possible with film. Thanks to evolving digital technology, captivating images like Hydra are now possible to capture.

Learn more about Beth Moon's process and practice in this conversation between the artist and Gallery Director Anne Kelly. 

• • • • •

All prices listed were current at the time this post was published.

For more information, and to purchase prints, please contact Gallery Director Anne Kelly or Gallery Assistant Patricia Martin, or you may also call us at 505-988-5152 x202