Moira Ness


A city paused, beautiful without sound.

Night-time has always appealed to me. The sun sets and the bustling city slows. People retire indoors to sleep and a hush falls over Toronto, Canada. Lights are turned on and the visual experience of a landscape setting, otherwise in darkness, is transformed. Unseen spatial relationships reveal themselves in the night lighting.

While Toronto sleeps, I create my art. Driving around Toronto at night has led me to notice areas with intriguing ambient lighting. I try to isolate and preserve these scenes. I like to share landscapes that the public might not fully recognize. They may associate feelings of familiarity with the landscape, but only completely know the scene in daylight. I create photographs of empty urban/suburban landscapes and experiment with nocturnal light studies. Nondescript landscapes are dramatized through careful composition and light balance. The packed Costco parking lot, or brimming city park, is captured after hours. Photos are shot after 12 AM to avoid having city activity crowd the frame. Usually a single ambient source provides the spotlight lighting for my photographs.

Harsh orange incandescent lights are cooled to match the night’s temperature in my photo’s post digital manipulation. Lampposts are erased to create a surreal atmosphere. The sky and background are blacked out as the spotlight coaxes focus to the middle ground.

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