Today’s featured artist is John Vias, a photographer from Berkeley, California.
Unlike most photographers, Vias takes his photos at night, creating surprisingly colorful (and memorable) scenes by leaving his camera shutter open for a longer period of time than traditional point-and-click photography.
That long exposure time is a necessary requirement for night photographers.
With low light, keeping the shutter open makes it possible to capture an equivalent amount of light over a few minutes, as you would in a fraction of a second during the day.
And what I found most amazing about these photos was the type of light that’s available, even in the middle of the night, waiting to be captured—a beautiful, sometimes eerie, melding of color from city street lamps, the moon and stars, florescent electronics, and passing vehicles.
John’s night-time photographs are also textbook examples of fantastic composition, like in this photograph, Large Boat Winch which was taken at the Berkeley Marina.
Multiple horizontal lines echo each other, imparting a sense of calm; while the boat winch and dock edge create a frame-within-a-frame for the glowing city in the distance.
In fact, as I was looking through his work I realized that if I was a photographer, these are exactly the kind of photos I’d want to take. In addition to their striking colors, they’re exceptionally well-balanced and very geometric, often making use of naturally repeating patterns and shapes. (Like in the first photograph at the beginning of this article, titled Triple Tanks.)
In some of John’s work you might not even realize they’re taken at night. . . but you’ll probably notice they’re just a little different. Too perfect, perhaps; or simply too idyllic to be real, like this next photograph entitled Fairy Tale Benches.
And as only an amateur photographer myself, I find it absolutely amazing that night-time photographs can look like this—more like a painting (or illustration, as John notes on his website) than a photograph.
Naturally, these are just a small sample of images by John Vias, and there are so many more good photographs on his website that you should REALLY take a look. Check them out now at www.johnvias.com.
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