Monday, 3 August 2009

Rut Blees Luxemburg: In Need Of Exposure

The fantastic thing about blogging is that you can start a new blog entirely unsure as to the exact purpose of why you are doing it, only to then land on an answer maybe 30, 50 or several hundred posts in. I began Hip Walk as an outlet for my enthusiasm for mid-20th century art and photography, before it gradually mutated into a place to post up imagery from any period that has inspired my own photographs, over at Art Of The City

While this much is true, and I'll still post things that I've discovered, however late or after the fact I am, I've also really realised that more than anything I want to find some like-minded people who can say: "You like this? Try this then..." It happened when Owen from Magic Lantern Show turned me on to the Vancouver photographer Fred Herzog. It also reaffirms subconscious steals or influences too, like when Bill Guy mentioned the obscure Jim Jarmusch film Stranger Than Paradise on this photo - for the record, I've had the poster of that film on my wall for about 5 years now, so Bill is either a) psychic, b) stalking me, or c) even more astute and visually perceptive than I first thought.

I've slowly discovered that such mutual tips and nods are the real reason I'm doing this second blog - it's obvious really, even if I've maybe not encouraged it the same. So for the few of you who check in here regularly, I really want to pick your brains as I go. If I post on a theme or a style that reminds you of something else, please leave me a comment and hopefully we can all turn each other on to something new, something enlightening or just something that looks pretty damn cool.

Anyways, today I've posted up the work of Rut Blees Luxemburg, a Berlin-born, LCC graduate who has taken some wonderful long exposure shots of East London over the past few years. Her work is suitably atmospheric and edgy enough for it to have graced the covers of two major UK albums - The Streets' Original Pirate Material and Bloc Party's A Weekend In The City - but I've returned to it purely for the skill of the rendering. I've been trying some long exposure night shots myself recently (I'll post them on AOTC when I finally take a good one) and have begun to appreciate how good these really are. In Luxemburg's photography there are no lens flares or other glossy Photoshop cliches, just grit, texture and glowing sodium colours.

So with my new spirit and purpose, can anyone recommend any other good long-exposure night photographers in a similar vein?!


  1. Hi SP ! A million thanks for the nod here... These photos by Rut Blees L. are great, hadn't come across her before now... There is an American photographer who did some beautiful night work, his name will come back to me, and I'll let you know... I'm failing to remember right now, and my Google searches aren't finding him...

  2. I am an amateur photographer, so I don't think I have anything to pass on rather I am sucking it all in from you. lol ... Love your blog. :)

  3. ok, just found it, are you familiar with George Tice ? If not, some of his work is on display here :

    The night shots of the phone booth, the hamburger place, and the gas station are rather good... imho...

  4. Hey SP,

    Thanks for the feedback on my installation sketches.

    Also, thanks for the mentioning on your blog. Do you like any other Jarmusch films? Dead Man is probably my favorite.

    The exchange of ideas and forming a creative community that transcends continental boundaries is a positive reason for the internet to be in existence. As far as night stuff goes, a good friend of mine does some groovy night work: The portfolio isn't all night stuff, but it's mixed in with lots of other good photographs.

    Ever seen the film Man Push Cart? Since we seem to have similar sensibilities, and assuming that you are interested in existentialism, you'd probably like it. There are many night-time scenes, and the way that light is portrayed in the film is quite surprising when considering the general mood of it.

  5. Oh these are absolutely beautiful! I am glad to have seen them. Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog, too!

  6. Hey guys, thanks for the tips.

    Owen - I wasn't expecting those to be monochrome but I really think they work that way, definitely food for thought!

    Bill - I'm a fan of the aesthetic of Jarmusch's films more than anything, especially Night On Earth, but for sheer enjoyment, it would be Down By Law for me every time. I really enjoyed Nate's photos too. When I flicked through a few at once, I began to wonder if he had doctored them - the clever repeat of the same perspective and viewpoint is quite hypnotic. I had heard of Man Push Cart when it was released but never caught it. I'll have to try and track it down on DVD.