Alone in the City with David Sark

Looking at David Sark 's double-exposed street photographs are a feast for the eyes. There are so many details to look at: streaky lights melting into solitary silhouettes, with pops of color and madness merging in one frame. His photos perfectly depict what it's like to be in a big city when you're lost in your own thoughts despite so many things going on. Somehow, the photos lend a feeling of melancholy – like when you're the last person to leave the office, or trudging in the rain to catch the last bus ride home.

David's interest in photography started in his late teens when he received a simple compact camera for his birthday. At first, he used it to take snapshots of his friends at parties. The interest developed from there, and he wanted to dive into the more technical aspect of photography, including developing his own film – and so he did. He earned a visual communication degree at university, which came in handy with his photographic work.

As a part of my visual communication degree at university, I was taught all the fundamentals of design and visual language including composition, color, form, etc. Once that becomes second nature and a natural part of the design and conceptual thinking process, framing scenes through my camera lens becomes an intuitive action. My design education helps me to identify quickly whether a particular scene is interesting or composition will work every before I get my camera out.

David shoots both in digital and analogue. How does he decide which to use in a particular scene or subject?

The majority of my work on the street is digital as it helps to have a setup with fast autofocus and flexibility of settings to allow me to capture random, fast-moving subjects and other scenes within ever-changing lighting conditions. Some days I go out with an analogue set up to change up my process when I feel like capturing images that will be a little rough around the edges, imperfect, and slightly out of focus but still convey a particular feeling of a place. At these times I enjoy not knowing if I got the shot and waiting for the reveal when I have my film processed.

As for his visual style, David says that he wasn't conscious about creating one in particular; it was something that emerged through the time he spent taking photos.

They tend to be dark, layered, and contrasty with pockets of color. It's a result of the time I actually had available to take photos when I started to shoot street a number of years ago. Mostly after work on my way home normally at night.
However, what is more important to me is the theme and content of my work. For example, with my night work, I am interested in capturing single anonymous figures in moments of quietness within the busy bustling city and how they move and interact with the forms and spaces I frame in my camera. Thinking in terms of themes or projects also helps me to focus on the kind of images I want to capture when I am out and about. Currently, I have a number of projects on my mind including a double exposure film series and a black and white film series visualizing time through slow shutter speeds.
The nature of street photography is already quite random. The added level of exposing another image over the top at a later date result in some very surprising and visually interesting outcomes!

Currently, summer is on its way to Sydney and David spends the longer days balancing work and starting new photography projects. We'd like to thank him for taking the time to share his story and photos with us!


See more of David's photos and updates on his website, Instagram, LomoHome, and Twitter.

2021-01-10 #culture #people #street-photography #double-exposures #multiple-exposures #nighttime-photography

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