Nite Lite

"Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world, and the real world?"

Like a moth to the flame, there's something about the glittering lights of the urban nightscape that have always attracted my gaze. My mom recently commented on Instagram that when I was a little girl at SeaWorld, I had been enthralled by the twinkling lights strung on the trees. I stared up at them from my stroller all googly-eyed.

Things haven't changed much in thirty years. If you watch closely, you might catch me mid-crosswalk, looking up at the nighttime skyscrapers and squinting to make the lights go soft and glowy like a kaleidoscope.

This past fall I began prowling city streets at night with a camera in hand. I was naturally drawn to the usual suspects.

These photos were taken using a Canon T4i on lend from ICP, where I took Digital Photography I and finally learned how to use a DSLR. They represent the beginning of a project I call Nite Lite: eerie, fluorescent scenes from urban modernity that are at once familiar and disorienting. 

These images aim to invoke a dream world, the other side of the looking glass, a domain that only emerges after dark.

The thrill for me, as I continue to shoot photos for this project, is figuring out whether I've stepped into a good dream or a bad dream. Which did I take, the red pill or the blue pill?