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Brian Sherman


Brian Sherman has become a well-respected freelance night photographer, producing spectacular night photographs of the Mojave Desert.  His work has been shown many times both on the internet and numerous gallery, museum and art shows in Southern California with many awards and acolations.  Brian Sherman is a self-taught photographer through the school of disappointment and experimentation.  “I have approached photography with a clear and open mind, naive to the schools of thought on composition and the technical aspects of photography.  In doing so I have created a style that I feel is unique and unpolluted.”  His philosophy on photography has evolved over the years with the desire to strip down the subject and its environment to create these stunning images.

Having always been fascinated with what is beyond our atmosphere and a huge science fiction fan has had an obvious influence on Brian’s photography.  As a child, he can remember being mesmerized by the outlandish sets that Gene Roddenberry created every week for the original Star Trek series.  The Mojave Desert that he grew up in is a bizarre landscape, harsh and desolate, in many ways similar to the imaginary planets visited in all those science fiction movies.  Brian spent many years exploring this unique place before becoming serious about photography.  He only began to think about photographing His desert explorations when the owner of the local one-hour photo lab suggested that he try to take photographs of these places instead of just the usual snapshots.  “His comment intrigued me at first until I had realized what he meant.  I bought my first SLR camera and learned from there.”

Years after that conversation, Brian has developed a philosophy and style through practice and a clear idea of how he wants the world to see these places. ShadowOfLightProject is the result of this learning voyage that ended up with an ongoing series of night photographs.  Shadow Of Light is a reference to Plato’s

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The Allegory of the Cave where what we see in life is but a mere shadow of true reality illuminated on the walls of the cave.  This night photography is not merely recording the Mojave Desert, but it’s intent is to make an artistic representation of this place.  Brian has used this concept to create an artistic illusion of reality for the enjoyment of the viewer.  In this project, the darkness of night is used to select what the viewer will ultimately see in the photograph when it is finished.  Through long exposure times the reality of a subject is bent in such a way that what one is seeing is a carefully composed subject emerging from the darkness of night.  In the end the emotion of emptiness is what these photographs are meant to convey.

The technical aspect of ShadowOfLightProject is a mix of traditional film cameras and digital printing.  Brian is reluctant of technology in general believing that our society is crippling itself by relying too much on the instant gratification and convenience of technology.  ShadowOfLightProject is careful to only employ technology as a tool and not as an artistic crutch.  All ShadowOfLightProject’s photographs are a result of what was done in camera, not in Photoshop.  Brian uses Adobe Elements for simple cropping, contrast adjustments, and converting some images from color to black & white.  All these techniques are possible in a traditional darkroom.  Nothing is added to these images that was not already on the slide or negative.  Prints are made outside by professional print labs using drum scanners for the highest possible resolution allowing for large prints on archival papers.  The majority of these photographs were taken with medium format Rolleicord cameras with the exception of ElectricChurch which was taken with an Argus C3 on 35mm film.
 

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