Road Trip by Noel Kerns

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I’m a Dallas-based photographer specializing in capturing Texas’ ghost towns, decommissioned military bases, and industrial abandonments at night. Growing up in the central Texas hill country, I developed my photographic skills shooting large format black & white landscapes.  The slow and deliberate nature of the large format photographic process was a perfect launching pad into the art of digitally photographing the nocturnal world.

I find night photography to be an interesting and addictive dichotomy; the purity and natural beauty of photographing under a bright, full moon, and at the opposite end of the spectrum, the creativity and power of the virtual blank canvas that is laid before me as I “light paint” an interior scene.

One of the things I enjoy most about photographing under a full moon are all the latent details, those things which reveal themselves only when you take the time to let the moonlight tell the story. I love the calm and tranquility of a peaceful night scene, as well as the eerie feeling one can get when shooting an old desert ghost town under a full moon.

Light-painting is all about vision, or more specifically, “pre-vision”, the ability to imagine the scene and lighting you want to create in the darkness, and to execute it in such a way as to match or surpass that imagination. The execution itself is an exercise in patience and control, imagination and experimentation, all the while drawing on your experience from previous shots to recreate your vision. To me, it’s fascinating.