Saturday, August 2, 2014


While researching lighting techniques I came across Chris Becker. Most of his body of work deals with manufactured light during dusk/night hours. Some of his photography even incorporates the use of large format photography.

"I often favor the use of a technique sometimes called light painting to express the beauty I see in a subject. With the darkness of night as the canvas, I shine light or paint favored areas of the scene during the camera exposure. The length of exposure can range from 20 seconds to upwards of 6 or more hours, sometimes the entire evening. Nearly all of the images are created using a large format film camera, which allows me to focus and study a particular subject and its surrounding environment. I am often physically involved in the process, in front of the camera, though unseen, but still part of the story."

Another group of work of his is titled "Frozen vegetables" which is the documentation of vegetables found in the freezer section of any grocery store throughout the United States, only he removes the plastic they come stored in and photographs them with the ice right out of the bag. He does not manipulate with the frozen vegetables or manipulate them in any way other than removing them from their container and placing them down to photograph them. Even though they are vegetables some of the photographs are a little surreal and others are beautiful. The color variations and contrast of some of the frozen foods is really quite pleasant and also how they were frozen. There is a piece with what looks like to be some sort of oriental dish of vegetables, chicken, and rice arranged the way it comes packaged but you would never notice how it is stacked and arranged. One would like to think that each granule of rice was cautiously stacked and the overall structure of the piece was carefully thought out when in reality it was most likely just tossed in one ingredient after the other.

One of the aspects of the photographs that makes these "Frozen vegetables" pieces more engaging and powerful is the fact that we can make out the tiny little ice crystals on the frozen foods.

Moving to his other works, the "light paintings" and night photography, there are several collections with many pieces that I would love to discuss but there are far too many. In his "Water-lighted" Chris Beck photographs landscape shots, but helps direct the viewers eyes to a specific point with his use of lighting. There is one piece in particular where it is a calming landscape shot where the background and landscape in the distance is blurred out of focus and underexposed/shot facing towards the sun to give everything a silhouette effect and then directs a light to these fragile green leaves on the ground. There is the only detail to be seen throughout the whole photograph.

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