I love being alone late at night in the city – carrying 15 kilos of camera gear around for hours on end is the only downside. I noticed the beautiful light on one set of columns in Sydney Town Hall vestibule one night and spent the next hour or two setting up this shot under the watchful eye of a security camera.
This time of finding and setting up an image is precious to me – it’s an opportunity to dwell only in that moment and have respite from my brain’s constant connection of ideas. Also I find that photography (and, occasionally, sketching) gives me that ‘permission’ to sit and contemplate an object or space for long periods of time, permission that I would not otherwise grant myself.
Most of the setup time was taken in selecting the best column, the best angle, optimising depth of field and then carefully lining up the camera to make it truly vertical – while it’s straightforward to rotate and skew images on a computer, you lose significant image area in the process.
If you went to see this in real life, you’d be disappointed – the columns are a dirty brown, the lights a horrible orange and there was a small amount of graffiti on the column that I needed to photoshop out. Through the magic of black and white film, however, it looks strong, pure and timeless.