Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Matinee: 'A Dialect of Light in the Dark' Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

30 July 2022

Saturday matinees long ago let us escape from the ordinary world to the island of the Swiss Family Robinson or the mutinous decks of the Bounty. Why not, we thought, escape the usual fare here with Saturday matinees of our favorite photography films?

So we're pleased to present the 459th in our series of Saturday matinees today: A Dialect of Light in the Dark.

This 3:51 video directed by Oliviero Russo was shot for Whitewall magazine on the opening of Rafael Yossef Herman's spring exhibition at Palermo's Palazzo Sant'Elia.

This exhibit included 16 large images hung throughout the 1,00 square meters of the palace. It opened on midnight of Earth Day this year and closed last month before traveling to New York.

The video is shot in various rooms of the palace as the Israeli-born artist talks about his work at length.

And it needs some explanation because Herman has a contrarian approach to photography. He is against the use of light.

It helps to know that Be'er Sheva, where he was born, is in the desert. Growing up there, he would spend hours at night wandering in the darkness and wondering where daytime colors had gone. He has called those daytime colors "the missing colors of the night."

The question that drove him was, "What would be a color when there is no light to define it?"

And so he began photographing landscapes at night in the dark. When he can't see them.

He talks about arriving at the scene in the dark and leaving before sunrise so that he discovers the place he has been only when he sees the photograph.

He creates, in short, a world we can't see with the naked eye.

"The light, in my point of view," he explains, "is covering the reality and not exposing it, and by night I let the glow show itself and I let the reality illuminate itself."

You can learn more about his approach from his 2013 TED talk Alternative Reality:

Don't be surprised, though, when he asks to have the lights in the auditorium turned off. "In the dark we need to pay attention," he says. "We don't really know what's going on in the dark."

BackBack to Photo Corners