ConceptEuropeSurrealism photography; Sonja Hesslow

Sonja Hesslow was born in 1988 in Sweden. In her newest pictures, she explores the interaction between darkness and light. She uses a method called “light painting”.

Sonja Hesslow was born in 1988 in Sweden. In her newest pictures, she explores the interaction between darkness and light. She uses a method called “light painting”.

First, she makes sure that the room is completely dark and then just uses a flashlight to light up the object. She puts the camera on a tripod and chooses a long shutter speed, approximately 20-30 seconds. The method reminds her of when she fell in love with photography for the first time, in the darkroom with an analog camera. When you light paint every exposure is unique and it is impossible to make two identical pictures. Every exposure is an experiment, with different pictures appearing on the camera each time. Sonja says that she likes using a flashlight because she can decide exactly which part of the object she wants to focus on. If, for example, she wants more light on a flower, she can shine the flashlight a little bit longer. This makes it look like there is a light inside the flower, and makes it stand out from the dark.

Sonja prefers to be called an artist more than a photographer—she merely uses her camera to collect different pieces to combine on the computer afterwards. She likes to make fantasy worlds that look real, but that you can see are impossible to be reality. Sonja frequently includes herself in the picture, as a miniature person who is interacting with nature. People often use the word “surrealism” to describe her pictures and ask if they are paintings. Sonja says she likes it when her pictures affect people. It is important for people to look at them more than once. At first, the viewer may only see the flowers, then after a while, they notice the miniatures in the picture. At the moment, Sonja is working full time as an artist. She sells prints in limited edition and holds exhibitions. [Official Website]

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Deadline: Monday, November 30, 2020
Photo by ©Ryotaro Horiuchi | Japan | Issue#14
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