Comparing the night HDRI (below) to the original mid-range images taken (above).
L I G H T _ R E F L E C T I O N
Throughout this project there was a shift from my standpoint on artificial lighting; but the idea that it can provide a false impression of something remained the same.
Throughout history artificial lighting has changed the way that we live. It has merged day and night into one. Activities which would only occur during the daytime can now occur at night; from sports to social activities. The night has become more than a time to sleep, but a time to interact and live. It has a unique liveliness to it, especially with the modern night life of bars and restaurants.
Throughout the cities it seems as though any well-lit spaces seem safe, because they are bright. It is the dark spaces which do not display ever little corner tat seem dangerous. Because of this mentality, the city can be seen as a safe place, at all times. The artificial lighting has given us a false sense of security, making us think if it is brighter, it is safer. After all, more crimes occur during dark hours rather than the sunny, bright ones.
My images have been taken in a range of settings throughout the city, showing there are many different spaces which are well-lit, but are not necessarily safe. I wanted to use the HDR imagery to enhance the artificial lights and how they don’t really make a space safe. How they provide a false sense of security, much like the HDRI aesthetic itself; comparing it to the ‘true’ images shows just how unrealistic and ‘false’ they are.
Overall I am pleased with my final images, they show a range of spaces with different artificial lighting, showing there are many types around. They also create an eerie, dark space, which is enhancing the idea of a space which is not so safe in reality. I thought about photographing similar spaces, but having a range shows that this is an issue occurring in many different spaces. The HDRI with the night time photographs has been quite an interesting aesthetic to work with, it brings out the details and the light sources. Enhancing the eerie, creepy spaces. Making them appear how we should see them in reality; as unsafe and dangerous.
We live in a false sense of security because of artificial lighting. It makes us believe that if we are in the light, we are safe, we are seen. Photographs of a variety of well-lit, ‘safe’ spaces throughout the city have been edited using an HDR aesthetic; making the spaces which seemed ‘safe’ to the natural eye appear dangerous.
The HDR creates a false image itself, it is not the original photograph. Like the artificial lighting creating a false sense of security, the images are not only untrue themselves, but a false reality also.
Here is an image of the city glow in New York, 1904. A result of electric lighting which was developed from the original gas lighting which was the first to light the city streets. Here we see a ‘mysterious glow’ to the city; it was the introduction of street lighting which led to people feeling ‘safe’ to walk home at night. This has provided a false sense of security over decades as it tends to be at night when crimes are committed. Thus, just because it seems bright and safe, it does not necessarily mean so.