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  • Exposure Value ZER0̸

    Paris and London, 2022

    PAR01-09, 2022. Transparency print mounted in lightbox with dimmable LEDs on dibond in wooden frame

    The human-eye adapts to lighting levels from which our ability to see depends. While simultaneously, this essential adaptability is making us ‘blind’ to see the actual brightness of artificial light sources. Exposure Value ZER0̷ is a research-based method and photographic exploration to unravel and map the imperceptible brightness in urban areas. The work exposes the most heavy illuminated places in Paris and London and is reflecting on the practice of (photographic) light metering and the notion of the 'over-exposed' image. Far from simply producing a clear-eyed copy of reality, these images are something closer to a qualitative expression of light— discovered rather than created.

    Read the exhibition text

    Lightbox frames

    • Click on the lightbox frames (inside this image) to enlarge
    Selection of spreads of the book.

    installation views

    Download the research paper


    Group exhibition 06.05.2023 - 24.06.2023
    Pennings Foundation

    Pennings Foundation
    Photo: Peter Cox

    Solo exhibition 07.12.2022 - 31.12.2022
    Art Centre Firma Van Drie

    Firma Van Drie

    Group exhibition 05.08.2022 - 17.09.2022:
    Galerie Ron Mandos

    Image courtesy Galerie Ron Mandos
    Photo: Michèle Margot. Image courtesy Galerie Ron Mandos.

    How much light do we need at night? What is necessary or sufficient? And what is excessive or redundant night lighting? To find understanding in the use of night lighting, I explored the cities of light Paris and London, through the lens of my own photographic process. Exactly these cities are visited because of their historical significance: London first applied gas lighting on a large scale in 1807. Less than a century later, in 1878, electric street lighting was first switched on in Paris. The latter has forever changed the way we are experiencing cities at night.

    The project’s name refers to a numerical system that photographers used in the 1950s to determine the right exposure value for a ‘correct’ photo. I played with this given and developed a conceptual and technical method in which the control over the exposure value is handed over to the present light itself, leaving images where the midtones and highlights ‘overflow.’ In this way, I want to show the physical and direct relationship between the photo, the amount of light, and the location where the image is captured. Besides the camera imprints the amount of artificial light, it also records the time passage of roughly 70 years in one image—showing the technological development of artificial night lighting in cities since the 50s. Therefore, sideways, the project seeks to explore the ways in which photography can be stretched to encompass the changing notion of time.

    The photos are made with a technical camera and deliberately shot with slow shutter speed in order to capture a sense of stillness in an otherwordly manner. The chemical-based transparency film is hand-developed and except for framing, cropping and selection, which I believe are integral to picture-making, the images have remained authentic to the making. What can the photographs reveal about our bright nights that would otherwise be imperceptible to our human eye?

    • LON01-02
    • LON04-05
    • PAR06-08
    • PAR01-01
    • LON01-03
    • LON01-07
    • PAR01-03
    • PAR01-05
    • PAR01-06
    • PAR02-04
    • PAR06-03
    • PAR06-06
    • PAR06-07