The vision of the night photographer

The vision of the night photographer
Rhonda Dredge

The crowded streets of Tokyo have taken on a new light in an exhibition that opened recently at Library on the Dock.

Kip Scott is a commercial real estate and architectural photographer.

He has taken the slick process of night photography to new heights.

Magenta and purple on the colour scale have been augmented to simulate the filmic effects of Bladerunner.

He’s pretending there’s a dystopic feel to Tokyo but really Scott is an admirer of the built form and lights of the city.

“It’s my favourite city,” he said. “In the daytime it’s like Melbourne, grey and flat, but at night ...”

One building is a camera store, a brilliant commercial success on a corner.

It has just rained, and the street is glistening, an effect Scott has tried to simulate in other photographs.

Another clever shot shows the reflections on glass as the photographer looks down.

“I love getting up high,” he said. “Getting a bird’s eye view from a distance and see how people react.”


Scott visited Tokyo before the lockdown and has been working on the prints since, which are not just inkjet prints but type C prints created by exposing chemicals to digital light.


The surfaces have a certain kind of lustre the aficionados will probably relish.

There’s no denying that Tokyo Midnight has shock value in that it gives one of the globe’s biggest cities a hyper-real ambience.

There are unsettling spaces crisscrossed by unknown forces and otherworldly references.

An alien intelligence would not be out of place here and that is the strength of the exhibition.

It eschews sentimental, historical and humanist narratives in favour of architectural commodification.

Scott spent time with his tripod capturing data for his productions.

Despite the millions of pedestrians, the only hint of a human figure is holding an umbrella in front of the camera store.

Tokyo Midnight, Kip Scott, Library on the Dock, until October 6. •

Join Our Facebook Group