How much light do we need at night? What is necessary or sufficient? And what is excessive or redundant night lighting? To find understanding in the use of night lighting, I explored the cities of light Paris and London, through the lens of my own photographic process. Exactly these cities are visited because of their historical significance: London first applied gas lighting on a large scale in 1807. Less than a century later, in 1878, electric street lighting was first switched on in Paris. The latter has forever changed the way we are experiencing cities at night.
The project’s name refers to a numerical system that photographers used in the 1950s to determine the right exposure value for a ‘correct’ photo. I played with this given and developed a conceptual and technical method in which the control over the exposure value is handed over to the present light itself —leaving images where the midtones and highlights ‘overflow.’ In this way, I want to show the physical and direct relationship between the photo, the amount of light, and the location where the image is captured.
The photos are made with a technical camera and deliberately shot with slow shutter speed in order to capture a sense of stillness in an otherworldly manner. The chemical-based transparency film is hand-developed and except for framing, cropping and selection, which I believe are integral to picture-making, the images have remained authentic to the making. What can the photographs reveal about our bright nights that would otherwise be imperceptible to our human eye?