U of Wisconsin, Milwaukee

Rachel Evans

Rachel Evans
ART 454: Narrative Photography
Digital Prints; 8″ x 10″
2 of 16 images.

This series of work is very close to me. Each photo represents a life that was lost at that location. I wanted to make the scene look surreal, so I chose to leave the reds that were cast from the streetlights. The photos are very empty, and still. I feel that this best represents the feeling of the community after losing so many young lives.

23 thoughts on “Rachel Evans”

  1. These photos definitely capture an erie feel with the red tones. I think the bottom picture is especially effective at capturing a lost life. To me it feels as if I am looking through the eyes of the deceased right before leaving this world. The railroad lines and sunset really help me feel this way. The top photo also has great line and texture and I get the street light feel much more. Together, they work because of the same color scene, empty feel and absence of figure, but the darkened sky on the top and the light sky on the bottom throw something off for me.

  2. You have done a beautiful job of using light and color to create a somber, nearly surreal, mood. The light tones are good, but I could see bumping the contrast a bit to give you some even richer blacks. The sense of vacancy really made me wonder more about what happened at these places. You have done a good job of provoking thought about the places and the people.

    Do you plan to give your viewer any hints about the lives that were lost at these places? Either through a title, an artist statement, or through another method?

    1. Thank you for the suggestions, and sorry about the late reply. I kind of forgot I posted on this site ha. To answer your question, each photo had a name plaque to go with it, the date of birth, and time of death were also on the plaque. I thought about how much information to include, like obituaries, school portraits, news clippings, but I ended up deciding that the photos taken was the best way to go. I didn’t want to cross any lines since it is a sensitive subject.

  3. I love the thought and emotion you pour into your photos. You can tell you took time to think this concept through, and the photos portray the sensations of feeling alone along with desolateness. The railroad tracks and the road draw you off the photo, as if there is more (kind of like a soul leaving earth).
    The only thing I would suggest is maybe messing around with the black in the railroad photo. In my opinion it still is a bit too light to give off the feeling of loss.

  4. The photos are definitely conveying an empty feeling, however I’m not sure the lost angle is as clear as that empty feeling. While the red tones certainly add a somber feeling to it, I wouldn’t call it surreality and it doesn’t add to the lost feeling you are going for. Instead, it’s acting like a warning, which I guess does add to the lost feeling.

    While the idea of photographing places where lives are lost is strong, I feel like I need to see more in order to get a greater sense of what you are going for.

  5. You have done a wonderful job using light, tone and color to create a somber mood to both of these photographs. However, I don’t immediately feel the sense of lose that the community feels after losing an individual. Are you including captions to these photographs? That might be one way to convey your concept to the viewer. There is a photographer by the name of Paul Baker Prindle who photographs similar to your concept, check out his work, it might help you with your series.

    I like the use of the ambient lighting at night to capture these scenes, it helps emphasize the empty feeing your are trying to convey. Have you tried shooting under different light sources? It might create a different color tone then just the warm colors. Great work and look forward to seeing more.

  6. I really enjoyed your photos. The thought and feelings are obvious. As I was scrolling through the photos on wordpress yours kept coming to mind, I would enjoy seeing the other 14 in this group. You did a great job defining and executing your story through photography. Thank You

    1. Thank you for your comment 🙂
      Unfortunately I do not have these photos posted anywhere else because I wasn’t sure about how people in my town would react to them. I should probably start a site where I can post my work that isn’t connected to facebook.

  7. Your photos are incredible. They give a cold, empty, lonliness that goes with death. You have the ability to transfer emoition through your use of light and color and the scene itself.

  8. I like your use of a strong red cast though I do not know that it goes as well with your message…the the red is a warming and comforting and feels to homely and warm to really portray anything about death. thought I do agree with Sarah Ripp that turning up the blacks in especially in the background of these images would help.

  9. The red cast does look surreal. It’s a little difficult to tell whether it’s at dawn or dusk, but I like it. The images are nicely composed, the lighting is wonderful. I feel so calm after seeing these images. They have a special way to comfort me. I really love these photos.

  10. I get a sense of loneliness, but more of a sense of calm. I’m not sure it says loss to me, but maybe an overcoming of loss. Kind of like I may be alone, but tomorrow is a new day.

  11. These photographs are very well done. The perception that you were going for is definitely felt. Before even reading the description I could tell there was an uneasy feeling about the pictures. After reading the description I think you hit your mark right on the head. I also love your use of the color red to make it feel even more uncertain and sad. But at the same time I feel like your use of the color red could be perceived as something calming or homely, which is not what your were going for according to your description.

  12. Oh wow, these photos are beautiful. They feel quite nostalgic and lonely to me. I love the choice to leave the red hues. The coloring gives me a sense that they were taken in a southern desert location, like Arizona or New Mexico, yet you can see that it is a city location.

  13. I love your concept! I got chills after reading the description. The shade of red you chose is absolutely haunting and visually describes the feelings one would have if they visited the site where they lost a love one.

  14. These photos are beautiful. Reading the description made them even more powerful. Like many comments above the lighting is wonderful.

  15. I was drawn to these photos because of their simple beauty, especially in the second image. However, after reading your description, I am even more drawn to them. They are a beautiful representation of such a tragic thing. The quality of light is absolutely stunning and I think it really portrays your concept in these photos.

  16. I do feel the emptiness you are trying to capture here and I admire that you are putting your self so much into your work. You can really tell that your emotions are in this. The red tones and the fogged almost radioactive looking sky’s give them that eerie feel. I could see bumping the contrast just a little but not too much. Overall these pictures really speak to me conceptually and technically.

  17. These two photographs really capture the mood and emotion related to these two locations, it is very powerful and almost chilling. I love railroad tracks and the photos that can come out of them, however the story behind these photos really makes you think about the chilling reality of what people go there for.

  18. Very important photographs. I think the color you’ve chosen to keep these photographs is important. It strikes the viewer immediately, and you know without context that something is off about the setting in which these shots take place.

  19. I was originally drawn to these photos because of their starkly orange color. After reading the description, I like them even more! Very powerful photos. Great job!

  20. These photos definitely capture the surreal look that you were attempting. I also they think almost look post-apocalyptic which is a society that has lost something so the component of loss is even more present. The lighting and compositions are

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