All images by Kaitlin Rebesco. Used with Creative Commons Permission.
Much of photography is about telling a story with light. The way light falls on your subject or your chosen setting opens you to a lot of creative possibilities and beautiful narratives. This is why many photographers like Brooklyn-based fine art photographer Kaitlin Rebesco prowl the streets looking for that sweet spot where light hits just right.
In her set entitled Light in the windy city, Kaitlin makes creative use of light to further isolate her lone subjects from what could be busy Chicago cityscapes. It’s a great and popular exercise in playing with light and shadows but also suggests careful attention to detail and a lot of leg work when scouting for locations. I can imagine street photographers spending at least a day walking around their hometowns and the cities that they travel to looking for these pockets of light where a subject can be nicely illuminated.
By rendering her photos in black and white, Kaitlin has also effectively exhibited the contrast at play in this technique. It would probably look less dramatic had she done otherwise. In her photos, there’s nothing but light and darkness, no color to distract the viewer, and only one subject seemingly cast into the spotlight by simply walking into her frame.
The shadows also are noteworthy in this street set. While they’re probably not as pronounced in the actual scene, it’s easy to see how she reimagined them as more striking and even looming in post-process. In some of the photos, she was also able to demonstrate how shadows can serve as a neat framing device or form effective leading lines.
Overall, Kaitlin’s play with light and shadows around Chicago is a great example of this street photography technique. While it commands a trained eye and attention to detail, it’s a narrative device worth learning for if you’re into street photography or even conceptual work.
Check out Kaitlin Rebesco’s Behance page to show you appreciation for Light in the windy city and view her other projects.