Infrared Flash


I love Weegee‘s photographs of embracing couples in the cinema. I first saw these images a few years ago in a Tate Modern exhibition, Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera. I’m not a fan of posed or staged photographs, I’m much more impressed by natural shots which capture what Henri Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment. He said, “photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.”

Weegee (as well as other photographers such as Kohei Yashiyuki) used an infrared flash to take pictures in the dark without being seen. This way he could secretly photograph scenes which would usually be hidden from our vision. I like the element of surprise and chance in these photographs as Weegee couldn’t see what he was photographing. He literally took a shot in the dark, and succeeded.

Imagecouple d'amoureux au cinéma, c. 1950