Hats off for a wonderful recent post (here) at Post-Mac Blues on light painting, a photography technique that looks like it is digitally manipulated, but isn't. This is a shameless repost on light art performance photography (LAPP). It involves playing with light in front of a camera that is using super long exposures and LED lights. The distinctive photos are from the German photo light artists, Jan Wöllert and Jörg Miedza at LAPP-PRO - go to their site to see many more amazing light photos from 2007 to the present (the menu is at the bottom of the page on the site, to get a new collection from each year, change the year in the top menu). Wöllert and Miedza go a long way toward capturing current sensibilities, with their stark juxtaposition of traffic-light neons against Urbex environments, night streets, and abandoned country landscapes.
At a glance, these images seem to say a lot about human impact on and interaction with the environment, and how we are searching for something streamlined, high-tech and mechanical to reflect our current favoured tools. These preferences starkly contrast with the natural world and with the Urbex wreckage of older styles, once the epitome of design. But for the photographers, these images say much more about an inward, not an outward, journey. It's a great metaphor for the struggles we face as we perfect a tool that constantly pushes the boundaries of humanity. Miedza posts the following 'Light Art Philosophy' on his site:
Like all art, Light Art Performance Photography is born of activity. Vita activa, the active life, requires courage. Many people lack courage and some are even anti-courageous, fearing the resistance that courage meets. But fear is discouraging: fear of learning, fear of doing, fear of love, and fear of life. If repeated failure allows fear to become part of a person’s personality, it begins to dominate. This is when capitulation starts and inactivity causes life to lose its meaning. Surrogate repetition replaces authentic experience and the leisure time that is left us after work is filled with the shallow diversions of commercial entertainment and mass culture.
But entertainment is only an artificial, second-hand reality. A human being embodies the potential to develop, but a personality can only mature if it is forced to overcome resistance. Just as great love is rarely possible without great pain, real art is never born of small change and simple ideas. Art is capable of moving individuals or societies because it is based on movement. A work of art freezes a single moment in a complex process that is itself the result of a creative idea. Creativity is rebellion against the gravity of tradition and habit, and is often an act of liberation-creative people invent new worlds instead of subjecting themselves to the restraints of the existing one.Text by Rainer Opolka (2010) – taken from the foreword of our book “Painting with Light”
Below are a number of other night photographs, all with long exposures that reveal some mysteries which are only revealed to the viewer who takes the time to stop, and look at a sleeping scene for awhile until the night begins to deliver her secrets. Several of these photos include night fog. Incidentally, Nacht und Nebel (Night and Fog) was the name of a 1941 directive from Hitler that enforced the kidnapping and disappearances of resistance fighters throughout Nazi-occupied Europe. The term comes from a Tarnhelm spell in Wagner's Das Rheingold (The Rhine Gold). The Tarnhelm is a magical helmet that renders its wearer invisible. In these instances, the camera becomes the objective, unseen watcher - and the photographs are what that invisible watcher sees.
Freezing fog in Britain (December 2006). Image Source: Reuters/Kieran Doherty via World Meterological Organization.
Image Source: Ana the Imp.
Image Source: Tailspin's Tales.
See my first post on Night Photographs.
All LAPP-PRO photos above are © 2007-2011 LAPP-PRO; I make no claim of ownership and these images are reproduced strictly for non-profit discussion and review. Copyrights remain with all other stated owners of images reproduced here. No copyright infringement is intended where I could not find the source or creator.
NOTES FOR READERS OF MY POSTS.
If you're not reading this post on Histories of Things to Come, the content has been scraped and republished without the original author's permission. Please let me know by following this link and leaving me a comment. Thank you.