Let There Be… Light! Let There Be… Light!

The stunning images of Light At Night have won a fleet of admirers online. This month Jakub Jurkowski, the man behind the camera, offers his thoughts and insights on his work…

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• My adventures with photography began with astrophotography; then I moved onto classical landscapes and discovered that night shoots really fueled my desire for further shoots – more so than any other types of scene. As I developed my skills I gravitated more towards the sunset/sunrise and twilight hours – but even so, night remains an important part of my work.

• I decided to step up my game and create a brand of sorts for myself. I didn’t want my name to be associated with standard ‘photography’, and I also wanted to create something broader which had the potential for expansion into other fields: that’s how Light At Night came to be.

• I’ve always thought of myself as being more of an impressionist than a reporter, and that perspective allows me to look at something mundane and think, man, how do I make that look really cool? I want to show Warsaw as the great city it is, regardless of its hard past, and add some of my own style on top of that. I want people to look at these photos and appreciate living here.

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• I wander around the city looking for good spots for shoots; when I find something interesting I often return just to see what angles I can get and work out which lenses I’ll need so that I’ll be fully prepared when time is tight. For all the thinking, researching  and planning, at the end of the day I’m in the hands of nature. If conditions are favorable then I’ll tend to sit at a location for a couple of hours waiting for the best light. Of course, many shoots rely on luck: it’s about being in the right place at the right time plus some amount of skill.

• I think post-processing is a good way to distinguish yourself from other photographers as it allows the chance to add a signature look to your work. I really enjoy this part of the creative process as I can put as much time into a particular picture as I wish. Most time consuming is eradicating things like noise or dealing with low dynamic range, then I like to play around a bit with global and local contrast and color before finally enhancing details by sharpening them. I never publish composites containing elements that weren’t part of an original scene: e.g. if you see the moon in my images then it was actually there!

Check Jakub’s work at: facebook.com/LightAtNightKJ

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