Over the summer, I experimented with a new style of photography. The technique, called “focus pulling,” is pretty simple: you gradually change the field of focus throughout a long exposure. This creates abstract — often otherworldly — images, particularly when applied to moving lights.

After reading about the technique online, I decided to test this approach on moving lights in Chicago. First, I walked down to Navy Pier where I tried to manipulate the light from the fireworks show. Then, I tried to distort the light from rush-hour traffic — albeit with considerably less success.

In the end, this experiment proved to be both fascinating and frustrating. I took hundreds of photos, most of which were utterly unusable. Despite some of the challenges, a handful of these photos were not only interesting, but print-worthy. Together, these print-worthy images form a collective piece of abstract art that I’ve dubbed “Intergalactic.”

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