Beacons of Light is a body of work that focuses on the city of Atlanta. This includes expressing the dynamism of the urban environment, its celebratory settings and the eye-candy of its colors, textures and overall aesthetic. It is a series of nine large-scale double exposure color prints representing my home city through my eyes. I chose to photograph Atlanta to show the beauty of its nightlife as well as the memories that I hold of each place that is documented.
I have always been inspired to do film photography. My father did a series on Las Vegas neon signs, and this has always inspired me to photograph many of the neon signs back home. I used my father’s Hasselblad camera to further indicate his influence on my work. This portfolio is a combination of dreamy, nostalgic, and timeless photographs. There is a cinematic feel in some of the photographs that represents the commemorating of childhood achievements, dance recitals, getting my first job, birthdays, and holidays. All of these special events from my life were celebrations; usually commemorated with a drive down Ponce de Leon Avenue. This is where the many vivid neon signs were reflected off the windows of the other passing cars as we made our journey to whichever restaurant my parents were going to surprise us with. There was always a feeling of excitement as the destination’s big bright sign appeared in our windshield. I want to show the liveliness of the city. When you look at these photographs, I want you to think back to a time you were celebrating something special. I want you to think of where that place was and how special and vibrant it was.
My medium for this series is medium format film photography. I am also using a digital program to create a double exposure effect. This imbues the images with a surrealistic quality and a nostalgic feel. I chose to do nine photographs, consisting of three still-lives, three portraits, and three landscapes. I did this to show different attitudes and impressions I sense in each place. I am photographing at twilight, so the neon signs are very vibrant on the dark background.
This series communicates the unique vision I have in my mind’s eye when I think of Atlanta and the memories each place holds. Growing up in the city has given me a different perspective and now I am able to share that with my viewers. The energy of Atlanta is shown through the dazzling colors of each photograph. The nostalgic feel is created by the double exposures. Lastly, the symbolic similarity is presented by the use of my father’s Hasselblad camera. Beacons of Light is a portfolio that focuses on the celebratory memories of my life since early childhood.