INTERVIEW WITH NOCTURNE
1. What’s your name? John Nocturne
2. In the light painting world what’s the name you go by? I go by the name Nocturne, my work is called Noctography (a word I invented in 2007 for what I do)
3. What do you do in your life? Photographer
4. How long have you been practicing the art of light painting? Since 2006.
5. Do you have a favorite place to go to light painting? I have many favorite places to light paint, Anywhere with abandoned planes, vehicles and trains. Unfortunately they are disappearing quite fast but it is not always the location I favor it is the subjects at the location. A certain place can easily become one of my favorites because of the images I have produced there, not necessarily the location but what it has given me.
6. Who or what inspires you? My first inspiration in 2006 was from Troy Paiva, and his work has been a constant inspiration to my own light painting, but in general I draw inspiration from every other light painter and their work, as well as sometimes everyday objects, an advert on television or even an object that will trigger a thought for a new light painting or technique.
7. White or colored lights? Each location and each individual shot or subject calls for different lighting. This can vary from night to night at the same place, depending on sky colour, moon location, cloud coverage and star presence. Sometimes coloured sometimes white, sometimes a bit of both. I wouldn’t preference one over the other as every situation has to be walked in to completely open-minded.
8. Do you take your own shots or you have somebody to help you? In general I work on my own but my wife will often accompany me and help with shutter release duties and certain other jobs making my work easier giving me a more productive night.
9. What does light painting mean to you? I believe this is something that can’t really be put in to words and only other serious light painters will understand when I say this, but course it’s everything, always on the mind, 24/7/365.
10. Which is the easiest aspect of light painting? And the worst one? The easiest part for me, is probably the actual creation of light painting, this I can do, it comes so naturally to me and has such a timeless quality it is literally “easy” The worst part… it’s hard to choose the worst of something you love so much, I wouldn’t call it the worst part but it is the hardest part, is sharing your work with the world and finding the correct audience to appreciate it. So many people see your work for the first time and understandably know nothing about it and ignorantly say that it is photoshopped.
11. According to you, what’s fundamental having or doing in order to obtain good shots? Passion, for light painting. Without it it’s nothing. The equipment isn’t important, the bare basics will do the job but it’s your own passion that creates the work, not the camera and not the tools, but you. You can have the best equipment money can buy, but without passion it’s just a lot of wasted money.
12. Is this practice a source of happiness and satisfaction? Of course, if it didn’t bring happiness I don’t think any of us would do it, I don’t think so many of us would be so involved with it. Even if there are parts that cause problems along the way, the end result is always satisfaction.
13. What would you like to do in the future? I’ll be happy if I can keep on producing light painting the way I do, anything else positive stemming from it is a bonus.
14. What advice would you give to the young people who want to start being light painters? Luckily 99% of light painters are very friendly and are always happy to help, there is plenty of information available to learn from and plenty of people to ask advice from, also in light painting, there is no rules, there is no right or wrong way to light paint, so give it ago.
15. Do you want to say a goodbye for us? Keep on lighting up the darkness.
Interview by Valeria Ricci