Tom Wojciechowski


Flash Cloud
8″ x 18″
digital photography

Many photographers will tell you that their true subject matter is light, light which can sculpt forms, delineate textures, or dramatize a face or figure. These are aspects of photography that interest me as well, but I want to take an emphasis on the potential of photographic light one step further—or perhaps one step back. In this series, I employ the kind of light that most photographers carefully avoid: the hot spot from the camera’s flash.

Bouncing the flash off of various surfaces, such as glass, steel, ice, painted walls, ceramic tiles or windows, allows me to explore rich and suggestive terrains of textured form and abstracted luminosity. At the same time, the work reveals an immediate and straightforward fact derived directly from the camera’s bright flash—an accidental beauty revealed in an “error”.

When shooting there is an immediate pleasure gained in seeking common surfaces, and discovering unsuspected worlds. But the choice of surface is not predetermined. The process is encyclopedic; any reflective surface is worthy. The results, later enlarged, are striking, offering a simple and discrete demonstration of the light’s evocative secrets. The final print involves no cropping or color correcting, and no special effects are added; this is edit-in-the-camera photography. The final challenge, back in the studio (computer), involves sorting and arranging the images alongside one another, creating further layers of opportunity for mining visual meaning.

In this series of photographs, I organize and compare the small and everyday facts of light that stealthily surround us all the time. Unexpectedly seen through the photographic “hot spot,” ordinary surfaces are suddenly charged and illumined, made extraordinary by a blinding / revealing light. Weightless light becomes a thing.

Visit Tom Wojciechowski’s websites at: