There’s something about cities at night that get photographers prowling the streets in search of stories. Sometimes it’s the seemingly alternate world that comes to life when the sun sets and the city lights bathe everything in a different glow. Maybe it’s the way everything and everyone slows down and unwinds, making it easier to catch them unguarded for a candid moment. But for Switzerland-based fine art photographer Stefano Gardel, the darkness that envelopes the streets of London at night is particularly intriguing.
Stefano used a mostly minimalist approach for this body of work in contrast to how street photographers usually fill their frames with details and as much of the ambient light as possible. He achieved this by picking a spot where something stirred, however faint the movement was. In some photos the motion is clear; in the others, you’d have to roam your eyes a bit and look closer. Essentially when you think about it, it’s similar to the effects used with plain backgrounds. You’re emphasizing a certain subject more so within the entire frame when the light is only on a specific part.
The darkness he captured in this set is also as looming as the title suggests, and envelopes a large portion of the frame and eliminating distractions against the actions. It’s also done in the cinematic style that is noticeable in his other sets. His approach is a rather dramatic way capture city life, and most likely a street photography approach that you don’t see that often.
Also, what seems to be the most interesting aspect of this work is how it perfectly creates the idea of a street photographer on the hunt for a compelling visual narrative. It’s easy to imagine watching Stefano scan the streets for a subject, take aim, and go in for the shot at the right moment. It’s the kind of photo series that you want to see more of, and I definitely hope to see him grow this set to include other cities around the world.