“Midnight Modern” Photography by Tom Blachford

midnight modern blachford

With popular modernist mid-century architecture set against a beautiful dessert backdrop, Palm Springs is already a picturesque place. The California city is well-known for its hot springs, stylish hotels, golf courses and spas, as well as the home of the popular Coachella music festival, taking place in the Coachella valley which surrounds it. Although the small town has been featured in movies, in photos and in countless magazine spreads, Melbourne-based photographer Tom Blachford was able to capture images of the unique homes and their exquisite architecture in a light not often used to capture these types of shots – that of the moon.

What began as a personal project has now evolved into a continuously growing collection of images. The artist has just recently completed the third series in his Midnight Modern collection. Shot over a period of three years, Blachford returned to Palm Springs during full moons and even a super moon to capture the shots using only the light nature provided, and with the help of a military-spec green laser for measuring focus.

These nighttime shots are in direct contrast to how the city actually looks in the daylight. As the artist explains, “I think that one of then biggest things about the city is that the mountains during the day have a haze. It’s not until the sun goes down and they’re lit by the moon that you get such a visual. The mountains look painted or completely fake.”

Blachford took great care to manipulate the images as little as possible in post-production. “There was a little more work here, because of the stars,” he says. “All the lighting and effects are from either the moon or neighbors’ lights that I couldn’t control. Usually stuff in the rear added a great natural effect, like pool lights on palm trees.”

The project itself, while serving as a beautiful collection of images on its own, serves a higher purpose; that of preservation of the beautiful scenes of Palm City. Blachford states, “I would hope that I could continue to introduce our generation to the existence of this city and that it helps with the preservation. It survived this long and most survive a lot longer.”

Learn more about Tom Blachford and see more of the amazing images in the Midnight Modern collection on his website.














Category: Photography