Steve Dreyer’s “Presence of Light” collection is the photographer’s latest fine art solo exhibit, currently being shown on Madison Avenue in New York City (see details on his website, address below).
The exhibit includes black and white images of architecture, city parks and landscapes. Some of the images were created at night and others were made during the day using neutral density filters and long exposures to create dramatic skies and lighting for his subjects. Visitors to the exhibit have expressed a sense of wonder when viewing the images.
The photographs in this series were created to celebrate light and to reinforce its importance in how we react to what we see every day. I wanted to evoke an emotional response to subjects that we might otherwise pass by, perhaps unnoticed, as we go about our daily activities.
The images were taken in New York, Paris, Iceland and as far away as Shanghai, China. The objective, common to all images, was to have light shine on portions of my subjects. I decided to make them in black and white in order to accentuate the structures, light and shadows.
I was walking along the banks of the Seine one evening when I noticed that there was natural and man made light shining on sections of the Louvre. The light created a reflection of the trees in front of the museum. Using a long exposure helped to define the building itself, and had the desired effect of smoothing the clouds as they moved slowly over the building. I used Lightroom and Photoshop to create additional light and shadows and to bring the viewer’s eye to certain areas in the image.
I used a different approach for the images of the Freedom Tower and New York’s Central Park, as it was daytime in both cases. I wanted the image of the Tower to show its strength and the emotion behind its history. I decided to show the park as the evening approaches and the lamp posts are turned on.
Shadows in the Park
I used a tripod in both situations and added neutral density filters to the camera lens. The filter cuts the daytime light significantly, so you need to first focus the camera in manual mode and add the filter afterwards. A long exposure is then necessary to capture the detail in the images. In both cases I combined lighter and darker versions of the photos in Photoshop and digitally painted light areas from the brighter versions into sections of the darker images.
Steve’s FolioLink website highlights the variety and breadth of his work as well as the flexibility of the website design to display both his images and text. His home page currently invites you to his current exhibit and the first page of the “UrbanScapes” collection displays an artist statement. In his website he also employes the use of folios, which he considers to be useful for offering loose prints in a presentation quality enclosure and as a promotional tool for his larger prints, which he offers in limited and open editions.