The “Defying Darkness” exhibit at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park held several images, all taken in the night, and goes to show the mysterious beauty of darkness. Upon first entering the exhibit where you can read about what you will be seeing, they explained how, “photographers have been drawn to the challenge of making images after dark… this continued artistic fascination” drives this interest, with the most successful images leaving the viewer with unanswered questions.
My favorite photograph from the exhibit, pictured above, is titled “End of the Party, Highgate, London” by Thurston Hopkins. In this photo, you see a couple sitting outside on a couch after a party. I love the candid feel of this photo, like they have no idea they are being photographed. Although it is at night, the couple is well-lit and easy to see. It is lighthearted and feels romantic, like they are reveling in the joy of the party that has ended.
Another favorite, also above, is titled “North Point of Mt. Everest, by Moonlight, with Star Tracks” by Marion Patterson. I enjoy landscape photography and the star tracks give this photo a whimsical feel. An already beautiful, mysterious mountain top, looks even more so in this bright, starry photo. Although it is a night shot, the lightness in the photo draws me in more and adds great color.
I also loved the first photo below, “Another Late Night Campfire, Oregon Coastline” by Chris McCaw. I love the illumination of the surfboards by the fire. It is a scene that would be hard to capture, but this picture accurately portrays how it would look and feel to be there. Part of what makes night photography special, is being able to capture the moments that aren’t always able to be captured based on the dark lighting.
I enjoyed this exhibit and seeing the way so many different photographers use light, or lack-there-of, to photograph objects, places, and people in darkness.