Joel Devlin’s LED Landscapes
“I wanted to emphasize natural environments by ‘painting’ them with artificial light,” artist Joel Devlin explained earlier this year to the Independent. In his photography series ”Light Waves & Dark Currents,” the British photographer used a 50-minute exposure technique to capture images over spans of time, landing him an award at the Association of Photographers in 2010 in the Environment category.
Mixing artificial LED lights and the natural environment, Devlin illuminates the modern separation between the manufactured world and nature. Devlin placed high-powered LED lights in a waterproof container and let nature carry it with wind and currents. From Cornwall to Hayle to Kent to Weymouth, the neon green light brings a new perspective to England’s famous landscapes. The piercing brightness brings a new beauty to the pastoral setting by emphasizing the way nature quite literally moves.
Devlin used the same long-exposure technique when photographing flight paths over London, where he lives. The colliding lines emphasize a similar idea of movement. These long paths signify the long journeys people take every day through travel. Like nature, we are constantly in motion — leaving one place only to appear in another.
The light running through each image creates a cool sci-fi effect, transporting the viewer to a strange world. ”Shooting in the dark offers a painterly aesthetic,” he told the Independent, “but by adding the lights, I feel I’m infusing something very modern into something ancient, and the mood suddenly feels futuristic.”
There is a clear juxtaposition between dark and light, natural and artificial, that Devlin plays with as an artist. As light informs nature, we begin to question the origins of our environment. There is a mysterious quality to the world, and even with the power of an LED light, there is a sense that we’re not seeing the whole picture.
For more information about the photographer, visit Joel Devlin’s website.