91 Days: Countless Nights is an exploratory digital photography art project which documents the lingering effects to common structures in their new, post Hurricane Sandy landscape, and is one of 35 presentations that will be available on Scholars Day, May 15. Kevin Burkitt will take you on a photographic journey of the destruction caused by Sandy at the Jersey Shore. He will discuss how he came up with the idea, share the techniques used to capture the images, and demonstrate how he processed each image.
The pictures in this collection were taken from December 2012 through April 2013. The goal of the project was not to shoot commonly seen images, but rather to focus on the hidden scenes that would come alive with rich texture, contrast, and beauty after dark.
Images in this collection were taken throughout Monmouth County starting in Manasquan and ending in Union Beach.
All photos are taken at night using long exposure techniques. The exposure times range from 30 seconds to 45 minutes and are mostly shot with a wide-angle 20mm prime lens. Due to the lengthy capturing and rendering process, it was not uncommon to only capture two or three images per session.
After acquiring the image, the media is processed in Adobe Lightroom 4 and then Nik Silver Efex Pro 2. After making the same base adjustments to each image, photos were enhanced using control points where brightness, contrast, structure, white balance, and black balance adjustments could be made throughout the image. It is not unusual to have 100 or more additional adjustments to each image. This process can take upwards of five hours per image to complete.
This project was inspired by the Fibonacci Sequence; a mathematical concept that all matter moves in unison and is based on the idea that each number is the sum of the previous two. Primary inspiration for this project came from Tool’s “Lateralus,” a concept album, which attempts to use sound and chord structure as a way to manipulate music around this Sequence. This critically acclaimed album is regarded as one of the most influential progressive / art rock albums in modern rock history and provided the internal soundtrack to this external project.
Using these concepts as reference, the images in this collection attempt to show the delicate balance between man, nature, destruction, and beauty as residents attempt to rebuild the devastated shore communities, affected townships, and local residencies.
By: Kevin R. Burkitt, Media Technology Specialist