Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Looking at artists: Patrick Rochon

Patrick Rochon
(part of a series)


Patrick Rochon is a well known photographer best known for his light paintings. This series of photographs of a Jaguar XKR car were taken between 2010 and 2011, and were used to create visuals for the Usher tour.  However, these photographs were unfortunately not used, but they still remain as a collaborative collection of photographs. This technique of photography has been around for a while, but the bright colours that are lighting up the car make it look like a fairly modern technique. Rochon has been doing light painting photography since 1992.


In this series of photographs, blue and purple neon lights were used to create the dramatic effects. This was made by having the studio pitch black so that no other light would ruin or affect the picture. There were several cameras on the car each taking pictures from different angles and views as the light was painted (below there is a video on exactly how this series was made). The camera(s) were set to a very slow shutter speed (it might even have been on the B setting, where you can keep the shutter open for as long as you want), and as the shutter was open, people moved around the car with the purple and blue lights to create this effect. I think that it is really effective as the light shows the silhouette of the car, for example the curves of the car, and the rest of the photograph is pitch black, which draws attention to the car and the lights rather than anything that was in the background (if you could see it, that is). The composition has been structured well - there is a sense of a good use of the space, as the car takes up the majority of the photograph. There isn't too much black space, but the car isn't taking up all of the space, which works perfectly well.


I'm not sure that there is any specific meaning to this collection of photographs. They were originally made for a tour, so that I think that they were created to draw attention, but nothing more. The car could symbolise something, but from the photographs or the artists comments about the series, it is not entirely clear if and what the message behind the series are.


I personally really like this series of photographs. I like all of Patrick Rochon's work, as I am interested in learning more about light painting, as I think that it is a simple yet very effective way to approach photography. I think that the colours work well for this, and that the use of light has not been 'over used' in this photograph, as I think that that would spoil the simplistic theme of this. 

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