Kevin Cooley

LGA Landing Pattern in Brooklyn

LGA Final Approaches over Queens

Photography is by nature an exploration of time. The blink of an eye may be frozen by the shutter. Or in the case of this series, many minutes or even hours add up to construct a single image punctuated by the paths of commercial airplanes traversing the night skies. These white streaks, the only aspect of the planes visible in the photographs, are created by the landing and navigation lighting on every plane. Each line represents the amount of time it takes a commercial flight to pass through the frame. The work pays respect to pioneering photographers Edward Muybridge and Etienne-Jules Marey, and their studies of motion, while representing the passage of time in an unfamiliar, challenging, and visually rewarding manner.

In photographing from residential and often marginal areas immediately surrounding large commercial airports, a sense of grace, solitude, and quiet peacefulness is created from the otherwise hectic airport environments. Gone are the long lines, the anxieties, and even the massive planes themselves. The audience is challenged to consider this work as metaphor for our desire for escape and the increasingly interconnected world in which we live. Ultimately, they are asked to reflect on the impact of all of this on the environment.

CRITICAL MASS TOP 50, 2007 – Kevin Cooley

6 thoughts on “Kevin Cooley

  1. The lines of the planes become the focus to me in the picture. Everything else looks as a regular photograph. I find it amazing that these planes can be captured with their route with the shutter being pressed for hours. Everytime I see the picture, my eyes are drawn to the light.

  2. I love these type of photos. Especially when the sky is the medium. I think of stars in the night as travelers. Going from one edge of the sky to the other as if they were visiting far away family.

    Yes I like to dream.

  3. I think the images from his website of the wildfires out west were amazing. Beautiful and haunting, and also a little ironic (from my very removed position) to see these example of suburban sprawl so close to Mother Nature as she cleanses herself. I think these images are what the MFA student at SPE was trying to accomplish, but not really achieving.

  4. In attempting to capture my own night photography the attempts have been difficult, but seeing that someone can leave the shutter open for hours and gather a gorgeous photograph like these helps me to hope that soon I will be able to capture images such as these. Great job on the pieces the lights are fascinating and helps me to remember to dream.

  5. Very cool shots. By showing time elapsed during a long shutter speed really brings a whole new dimension into a photo, and is very visually appealing.

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