Adding an unexpected element into an otherwise ordinary looking photograph can result in surprisingly interesting results. Benoit Paillé experimented with the concept by placing a square bright LED light right in the middle of night landscape photographs he took at various locations in his photo series “Alternatives Landscapes”.
Benoit used a custom-made LED light by using 1m x 1m square plastic plate holding 300 LED lights with adjustable brightness via a dimmer. The square light was then tied to the nearby trees to create the illusion of the LED light being floating in mid air within the composed frame. Extra care was taken not to physically damage the shooting locations with the installation process, and attention was given to not leave any footprints around the square light. He then composed his landscape photographs using long exposure varying from 30 seconds to 4 minutes.
Benoit was meticulous in his photography technical execution by balancing the square light’s LED brightness with the considerably darker environment he was shooting in. He managed to sufficiently expose his camera to the LED light to illuminate the immediate surroundings while maintaining adequate level of available ambient light in the background without drowning it into sea of blackness. This resulted in the beautiful glow of the square light against a natural looking backdrop.
Benoit explores the relationship between humans and nature with the square light representing a man-made object being forcefully placed in a natural outdoor setting. The presence of the bright square light being right in the middle of the frame invites the viewer to question what the square light represents and why it was there. The random locations where Benoit chose to shoot the bright square were also intriguing enough to add mystery, whether it was floating by the river, above a rock, in the middle of the secondary forest or just outside a normal building.
You can find out more about Benoit Paillé and his photography work here.