Some of the coolest photographs I’ve seen recently are these long exposure shots of crowds in St. Petersburg, Russia. They were taken by Alexey Titarenko for a project called “City of Shadows.”
What I think is so interesting about this is that an otherwise unremarkable technique – the long exposure – has the effect of transforming these assemblies of people into demonic blurs, black masses moving through the city. These look more like scenes from Jacob’s Ladder or Silent Hill.
In the photograph below, for instance, the repeating glimpse of a hand pulling itself up the banister seems strangely unnerving –
– and, in the next photo, the crowd takes on the appearance of a machine, hauling itself through human gears up the stairs of old buildings. A mechanism of bones from the afterlife.
But I suppose this is what the world would look like if we could see the residue of everyone who’s ever passed through – a vast, multi-limbed creature made of tens of thousands of human bodies, winding its way through streets and buildings, looking for some place to go.
See more from this project and others at Alexey Titarenko’s website.
(Thanks to Adam Billyeald for the tip!)