“A World of Lights” is a series of images that started 4 years ago, taken in various parts of the world, utilising diverse luminous objects that I find on the streets, camera movement and long exposure techniques.
As a photographer, I always felt a little bit restricted by having to work with reality, I have the desire to give the viewer something inspiring, imaginative and beautiful that they cannot experience through nature, something that opens their eyes to new ways of perceiving the world or to create new realities. Through this search for abstraction, I have discovered that by combining technology with a human element like movement and improvisation I can create this effect. I like to reinvent places in my head and feel like I’m seeing them for the first time again – this is the exercise I like to recreate through the lens and my movements. I want to be amazed by the creation that those lights, that place, those movements, that moment is going to create. All is there in front of me, but there is always a surprise to appear. With time one develops the ability to predict the image outcome from certain kinds of light and shape, but in this project, it is the mistake, the person crossing in front of the camera, the car, the reflection, the imperfect movement that keeps it alive for me.
The human factor combined with technology and imperfection are the big aspects that make this project a good exercise of human perception for me. It’s always fascinating to hear the various perspectives that these images create in different people and how much they are affected by them, knowing that these images were created without post-production image manipulation. In this, I see the viewer experiencing the same sense of wonder I look for when I go in search of creating these images.
About Pepa Torres
I’m a Chilean professional photographer based in the U.K. My first experiences with photography were related to music, I started as a show photographer, and fast moved into musician and band studio portraits, documentaries, and developing work in the video field too. Looking forward to developing a more personal photographic project I started on my path through a search for abstraction, dabbling in the macro world. I found myself trying to decompose images to the extreme but never achieved the feeling that I was looking for: that childhood sense of wonder from seeing things from the first time. I always felt a little bit limited by the use of reality in photography so when I discovered that long exposure techniques combined with my own movements of the camera could create those unimaginable abstract images that I was so hopeful to find, I just couldn’t walk away from it. Rhythm, textures and movement are important parameters to me, as my work has been inspired by the expressive freedom I used to feel about making music, a feeling that I related with a playful childhood state of mind that I wanted to translate into images. I kept developing this technique in silence for years, feeling like it was something very personal.
After my university years, I started teaching lighting studio techniques in the same institution and at some point, I shared my work with some students. Their reaction was something unique that made me understand the effect that the human element adds to these creations, and to the way we perceive art in general. I was amazed to discover that the same sense of wonder was being experienced by them, just through knowing that these colours and shapes were created by reality and technology, but most importantly through human elements: experimentation, improvisation, imperfection, imagination; not by a computer. At that point, I realised that this work needed to be out there to become alive. [Official Website]