Lingsir Wengi: Lights of the Night
I used to spend quite many times hanging out at night; either indoor or outdoor, either walking down the city streets or just sipping coffee in some simple homy cofeeshops. When I got my times out on the streets at night, the first thing that usually caught my eyes was the shining city lights, lamposts, or neon signs. They were ordinary things, I knew. But looking at those various-shaped lights somehow made me feel that even the night—with its darkness—has its own energy, its own activities; its own life.
So, I decided to take photographs from the many city lights I found down the streets at night. These lights appeared in various shapes and range of colors, but all of them offered a mysterious atmosphere and feel—at least, to me.
Besides documenting these lights, I also wanted to explore the night shooting. As a beginner, I realized I have got only very few knowledge on the techniques; but, as people say, experience is the best teacher. Hence, starting from January 2011, I took some opportunities to walk along several main streets around the city of Yogyakarta to see what kind of lights I might capture. This project has not ended yet, obviously. There are still plenty of places I need to explore in the coming opportunities.
The photographs I presented here were taken between January 2011 and June 2011. Most of them were taken at Malioboro—the hippest shopping venue in Yogyakarta, the Tugu monument, and around Sayidan. I had made several—to be honest, it’s many—failures in taking photographs at night, mostly because I haven’t got any tripod with me while I was suffering from annoying tremor. Most of the photographs were shaken or blurred, but I managed to select few out of them to present here.
The title “Lingsir Wengi (Late Night)” was chosen as I felt that this would best represent the whole photographs. In Javanese tradition, “lingsir wengi” refers to the length of time after midnight, from 1 am to 3 pm. Although most of the photographs were taken at around 9 to 1 pm, I just can’t think of any other title that would fit the entire photographs as best as “lingsir wengi” would.
Hopefully I can do better next time; I realize I need to explore more on capturing the real “feel” of the night. But, I also wished that the photographs here are capable of, at the least, representing few of the things that commonly colors the night. Enjoy!