Fine Art Photographer Amy Kanka Valadarsky is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this photo essay.  From the project ‘Heartbeat of the Night’ To see Amy ’s body of work, click on any image.


Light jogging
Some of the larger streets, have their trees decked in lights all year. Empty streets lined by festively lit trees. The best time for a late night jog.


A simple wooden board hanging from the tree branches on the sidewalk by the house. Who swings here during the day? Tonight, it’s just the wind and me.


The genie
By day, a lamp you may not even notice. By night, like Alladin’s genie, the lamp is lit and the mask appears on the wall. You can almost hear it say: “Oi! Ten thousand years will give you such a crick in the neck” …


An impulsive walk on the night of a full moon was the spark that started this photo essay.  I went out for a walk, taking the camera with me, thinking it would be nice to capture the moonlight. Two hours later, with the memory card full of images and the imagination full of stories, I returned home and started to process the experience.

This nocturnal walk started a pattern of brisk morning walks spent scouting followed by longer and contemplative night ones spent shooting. At night, with the all-important sight reduced, the other senses are sharpened; sounds gain prominence, and smells provide clues to things that cannot be seen. I follow the path of lights and the smell of jasmine. Best of all, the imagination is released and is free to wander – and wonder, weaving views and memories together into new stories. A rabbit on the balcony brings to mind Alice in Wonderland, and a lace curtain, memories of my grandmother.


Jasmine scents
Its fragrance filled the air. I followed the smell, crossed the street, and saw the white flowers glowing in the dark. The fragrance lingered in the air long after the flowers disappeared.


The sounds of water
There is a sense of uneasiness as I walk down the quiet streets. Is it safe? What if ..? Cars look closer, sounds seem louder. It is strange to hear the trickling of water long before seeing the fountain. I look for it, peeking over hedges. Finally, I see it through an opening in the hedge, moon reflected on its surface.


Black and white, yin and yang, reality and shadows. No wind tonight, the grass is perfectly still. A nocturnal duet.


Some images were left almost untouched, and others were melded together in layers, creating collages representing the experience, rather than the view. On reading Ruben Dario’s poem, “Nocturne,” I realized what I was after – feeling and photographing the heartbeat of the night.


The guardian
I saw him on my morning walk, when I scouted for places to photograph at night. He may have heard my wish and in the evening, he’s still there, on the sofa looking at the street. I have time for 2 quick pictures before he starts barking.


Looking for the fairies
The house is dark, no street lamp nearby. In the darkness the pavement looks like a tiny ballroom, filled with overlapping stars. Like Peter Pan, I look hard, expecting to see the fairies blink.


Mexican flavors
There is so much one can know about a place by its houses. A touch of gentrified Mexican architecture in a city where most of the Mexicans I’ve seen around can only dream of living in a house like this.


All images and text © Amy Kanka Valadarsky



See also:

Meeting Frida

By Amy Kanka Valadarsky





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