Lighting the Alleys & Ruins

With my workshop coming up December 1st (more info below), I thought I'd share some lighting techniques with you. Most of my images are a mix of city light, plus my own light. Alley 137  and 139 (below) are both 30-minute exposures, during which I ran around shining colored light on different parts of the scene. The orange light in the image above is the natural result of sodium vapor street lighting; the rest is my lighting. The yellow sky in the image below is a mix of different city lights bouncing off low lying clouds. You can see how I’m able to create glowing light, and pinpoint little dashes of color. When lighting the shots, I dress in dark clothes and I move around quickly. This makes me invisible in the final photo because the film does not pick me up over the long exposure. Alleys & Ruins no. 137, Portal (2011, Queens, NY, 12:15am)

Left: first time I see the location. Right: later that night I returned to create Alley 137

Lighting the scene during the 30-minute exposure using gelled flash/strobe and spotlights

Alleys & Ruins no. 139, Tracks (2011, Chicago, IL, 10:00pm)

Left: A video still of the location during the day. Right: The final image,  shot later that night

Lighting the walls with blue flash for the test shot (I used green light on the final image), and lighting the tracks with a flashlight to make them glow

The Workshop, held in my Chicago studio, is Saturday, December 1st, 10am-2pm. Total cost is $150  To reserve your spot, send me an email - - The class will be limited to 12  This will be a fun 4 hour class focusing on lighting technique. Training will be followed by extensive hands-on shooting where the participants will create photographs using my lighting and guidance.

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