Artificial Light: Photographers Research – Rut Blees

19th July 2021

Rut Blees Luxemburg (b.1967) carries her large-format camera around night-time London, making only three or four exposures in a month. A Google Images search for her series Liebeslied (My Suicides) reveals a kind of alchemy at work, a secret process that uses artificial light to turn the streets into gold. Her work inspired Ivan Radman to create his own series of alchemical night time shots:

OCA EYV (2014:86)

I found that the series ‘Liebeslied’ is street photography at night and focuses on objects and environments that are full of texture, shapes, patterns and simple palettes of colour.

The artificial lighting within Rutt’s ‘Liebeslied’ series is very subtle and is not overpowering to the viewers eye. In each image the light source position can be calculated easily and I am not sure, but it looks as though in some photographs, Blees has used artificial lighting that she has placed to highlight specific areas in some images. These can be seen in the diagrams below.

Her ‘secret’ process that the OCA folder states, ‘ uses artificial light to turn the streets into gold’, is very similar to using iPad photography and design app filters. In fact it is something that I do regularly to my street photography if my images are also looking at texture, shapes and patterns. The reason that I use ‘cross-apping’ to gain this type of images is because the subject matter becomes rich in colour that attracts the eye and adds to the almost abstract and other worldly of the buildings and environments within my work.

Below I have chosen three of Rut Blees work that I find very strong in design.

Fig. 1 Blees, R. (1999) Attempt of Seduction
Fig. 2 Blees, R. (1999) Viewing the Open
Fig. 3 Blees, R. (1997) Liebeslied

Illustrations

Fig. 1 Fig. 1 Blees, R. (1999) Attempt of Seduction (Photograph) At: https://rutbleesluxemburg.com/liebeslied-2 (Accessed 26.07.2001)

Fig. 2 Fig. 2 Blees, R. (1999) Viewing the Open (Photograph) At: https://rutbleesluxemburg.com/liebeslied-2 (Accessed 26.07.2001)

Fig. 3 Fig. 3 Blees, R. (1997) Liebeslied (Photograph) At: https://rutbleesluxemburg.com/liebeslied-2 (Accessed 26.07.2001)


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