During my time in Chiang Mai, I found a lot of inspiration in my night walks. After a long day of working in the studio on prints or drawings, I would venture outside with my camera and tripod. Punspace was in a quiet neighborhood in the old city of Chiang Mai, away from many of the tourists. I mostly saw locals and stray cats and dogs. There were several small shops (some I wasn't sure how to define them), eateries, and small temples.
Rather than take night photographs in the busiest places, I wanted to capture a quiet moment. It may make more sense to go to the brightest area to capture the light pollution, which is what I'm really after conceptually. But these places I photographed seemed like they should be dark, quiet, peaceful, devoid of people; but were often cast in the glow of the busier streets. I wanted to show the beauty but also the disruption of darkness.
I photograph intuitively by looking at colors, textures and shadows before making a judgement about what the photograph is saying. I often photographed plants and trees lit by artificial light. It makes me feel sorry for the plants who never have a break from light. Does this affect their growth or health?
The mysterious beauty of these photographs is apparent. I chose not to capture the garish LED lights of the busy streets for a reason. We all know that (most) lights at night are beautiful and appealing. They help navigate people in the dark, keep us safe and at ease. Thailand, as well as many other Asian countries, take great pride in their lanterns. They have beautiful designs and are very comforting to look at. However, a great sacrifice is made with night lights as no stars are visible at night. One night I saw the moon (which I documented in this series), however I never saw stars. It is very humid and cloudy here, so the light from the city was reflected back to my eyes from the blanket of clouds. I can't say for certain that lanterns contribute to light pollution since the light is diffused and dim. But the desire to protect ourselves from the darkness and disrupt the Earth's natural timeline and cycle is what concerns me.