Satoki Nagata’s Lights in Chicago project is on the verge between street photography (as the candid type we know) and adding a carefully positioned off camera strobe to the scene.
By combining a long shutter drag with a pop of a strobe positioned directly behind the subject, Satoki photographs double exposure like images.
We asked Satoki about his inspiration and motivation for the project:
“I have been doing intensive documentary projects and some of them are very hard in physically as well as mentally so I occasionally enjoy doing street photography. In addition, we have dark, long winter in Chicago and I decided to use flash on streets. I did some using flash on camera, or flash on hand, but these images were not so exciting to me. I wanted to do something new. Then idea came up that I will use off flash on stand, using radio transmitter and receiver, just like studio photography. Then I happened to find interesting effects when I flash person from behind and use slow shutter speed as you can see on my images.
Transparent effect using this technique is visually interesting, but most importantly for me as an artist, the images using this effect convey the feelings of winter of Chicago very well. Then I started the project of “Lights in Chicago.”
While the rusults are indeed visually interesting, the technique is simpler that what one would imagine:
“The technique I am using is very simple and I like its simplicity. I am using wireless transmitter and receiver. All settings of camera and flash are adjusted by manually. Flash is on stand. The shutter speed will be set to 1/2-1/15th sec depend on what kind of effect I want.“
[Lights in Chicago | Satoki Nagata]