The series is composed of my documentary photographs, along with the “light painting”
by Blind photographers.
In New York there is so much light and movement, everything is surprising and extraordinary, impressing the viewer with its beauty and energy. Everything that you would like to see and make photos of, especially when you are a talented and creative person. Sometimes it seems impossible, but it’s a dream that you need so much to come true! Though we have our eyes and sight, as small as this may seem, this is so much more than you cannot either imagine or perceive without it. To lose the ability to see does not mean one loses the desire to see, create and share all of this beauty with the world.
But how to save this wish and develop it in complete darkness that grows day after day? Only the photo artists who live this way can answer this question. They have saved so much light in their souls that they can see lighter, stronger, and imperceptible things than many painters who have the ability to see.
Sells Manor is a place located nearly in the heart of New York City, at 135 West 23rd street. The photographers there create surprisingly strong works with wonderful techniques. They are people with a deep feeling of beauty and surprisingly light souls.
These photographers have opened their photo studio in a small, simple room on the lowest floor of the building. Everything in the studio is made by their own hands with their own money. There is a large collection of different masks and extraordinary, strange things, crafts, textures, and backgrounds. They gather every Thursday, dedicating themselves to their favorite pursuit, inventing new methods of creation. This allows them to express themselves in everything they undertake, creating incredible results. Very often some volunteer becomes a hero of extraordinary photo ideas. They dress and surround him with different objects that are moved by the hands of those who stand in complete darkness, highlighted strictly by the directed light of a small lantern. Separate parts of the composition are lit for a certain time depending on the author’s idea.
The photographer places the camera on a tripod, then establishes long exposure and fixes all movements, directions, and light spots. The result is completely unpredictable for everybody except for the photographer. After the session, all of the works are discussed, and the best photos are selected and printed. All the shelves in the little storage house of the studio are filled with photos made during the long years of cooperative work. Books including these photo collections have been published.
The technique, known as light painting, is a photographic technique in which exposures are made by moving a hand-held light source or by moving the camera. The term light painting also encompasses images lit from outside the frame with hand-held light sources. Every day the photographers have to go deeper and deeper into the darkness, but there is even more light in their works and faces than can be seen even with eyes wide open.