By Rebecca Drew
STUNNING night scene images have shed new light on deserted military sites across America.
The atmospheric light paintings show an illuminated graffiti clad Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon and a disused military bunker. Other photographs show a purple tinged radar simulator that looks like something out of a sci-fi movie and the glowing red remains of the SF-87C Hawk Hill radar post.
The spectacular shots, using long exposures with no photoshopping, were taken by photographer Noel Kerns (55) from Dallas, Texas, USA. To take his pictures, Noel used a Nikon camera.
“As a night photographer, I’m able to capture my subjects in a way that often looks very unnatural to the casual observer,” said Noel.
“The star trails, the moving clouds, and the supplemental lighting effects combine to create an otherworldly, surreal feel to the photographs and the military subjects in this series of images lend themselves nicely to that vibe.
“I work almost exclusively with abandoned subjects and the never-ending progression towards more efficient and more powerful weapons of war means there’s an ever-growing arsenal of discarded and obsolete military hardware lying around in junkyards and on remote, forgotten areas of military bases.
“Likewise, the bases themselves often become obsolete and make for equally compelling subject for my style of photography.”
Noel started to only shoot at night in 2007 and explained how he uses camera settings to master his light paintings.
“I shoot exclusively at night, using long-exposure times and a technique called light-painting, where I use supplemental lighting to accentuate the subject or create an aura of mystery in the photos,” he explained.
“Typical exposure times range from ninety seconds to three or four minutes and I used handheld flashlights and photographic strobes, often with coloured gels to create the lighting effects you see in the photos.
“As a result, there’s very little post-processing to be done to the images, what you see here is by and large how the images come out of the camera.
“Often the locations and subjects I shoot are considered off limits and overcoming those obstacles to access these places and objects is often the most challenging aspect of this genre of photography.
“Sometimes you’re able to establish contact with the owner of a property and arrange access, but more often than not, one simply has to find a hole in a fence or a missing door to photograph these derelict places and things.”