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Bill Kouwenhoven

Photo Credit © Jill Waterman

Originally from Baltimore, Bill Kouwenhoven studied comparative literature, culture, and foreign relations at Johns Hopkins University. He is fascinated by the city at night and how it appears like a stage set with simple props, lights, backdrops, and empty dark spaces that wait for protagonists to appear. The darkness inherent in his images allows him to seamlessly combine photographs from diverse cities while suppressing site-specific details to assemble a sort of universal theater. He presently lives in New York and Berlin, where he works as a freelance photography critic and curator.


Lens flare adds to the creative effect in this handheld image of city lights at night. The occurrence of flare can be detected in the viewfinder of many camera types, but not always with rangefinders. When shooting with a rangefinder, it’s important to carefully estimate framing and lighting effects, because what is seen through the viewfinder will be slightly different than what the camera will record.

© Bill Kouwenhoven
Camera: Leica M6, Lens: 35mm Leitz Summicron 1:2, Aperture: f/4
Exposure: 1/15 sec., Film: Fuji 800 Superia

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