While daylight gives birth to the rainbow of colors under the sun, when night falls, the black backdrop conjures up new contrasts of color. The orange glow emanating from an open doorway on a dark street, suggesting late-night life inside, the flickering of an insomniac’s television observed through a window in the small hours, the buzzing neon signs of the nocturnal economy, all conspired to ignite the imagination of Magnum photographer Patrick Zachmann. Here, Zachmann writes about why he is drawn to photographing the night, and how China’s nocturnal underbelly inspired him to begin working in color.
“I’ve always been drawn to night-time atmospheres. Like many other photographers I guess, I like the world of Brassai and Weegee. In the past I’ve photographed, in black and white, many parts of the underworld at night. Today, it is with color that I explore it, staying awake throughout the night in metropolises, even though I am not a sleepwalker, insomniac or even really a nocturnal person. Simply put, I like photographing nocturnal atmospheres and lighting. I just love the artificial colors, a light upon a face, or even a shadow projected upon a wall that then becomes a screen." Continue reading.