23 Dark, Dark Photographs

We live in a dull world, in which remarkable camera sensors and clever AI can balance exposure perfectly every time. But what is perfect, anyway? These 22 dark entries from this week's Shooting Challenge ask just that.

Winner: Dark Suburbs


While the goal was to take a picture of darkness, the challenge is that every photo requires some light. This image was captured of a dark street with an iPhone 5S. It was then processed in Paint.net 4.0.3 to convert it to B&W, contrast adjust, and also reduce the noise.

Jonas Demuro

Maine Snow Storm

I was visiting Maine this week during the first snow storm of the year. The attached photo was taken from my father's driveway in Bucksport, Maine on November 3, 2014. I used a Canon 7D with a Sigma 10mm fisheye, 100 ISO, F/4, 30 second exposure.

This street rarely sees traffic at night, so this was an interesting and unique opportunity to capture the light of a single car traveling on a snowy wooded Maine road. The only other visible light is moonlight.


Kris Relicords

Mobile Lovers Redux


I wanted to try to capture something similar to Bansky's "Mobile Lovers" as far as using a cell phone for the key light. I also threw in a flash about ten feet behind me to give a little separation. Hope you like it.

Nic Shellabargo



Basically, I just wanted to try something that I have watched before about silhouette photography. I really want to make a photo wherein the lines of my face (the silhouette) will be shown. I made several attempts in order to get the shot I have in mind. Post processing was done in Adobe Lightroom.

Eljay Inocencio



Self-portrait shot with the iPhone and lit by laptop screen.

Dave Reid

Angry Sunrise


This is an angry sunrise near my parents' place. I was actually out to shoot another location since the sun was in the wrong place for this one, but then the clouds came rolling in and since I was done with the other location, I moved to this one. The fields haven't been harvested for that long and birds are still cleaning them out, so after a few test shots I just waited for a flight to be in the right place.

Wealon Bouillet



No description given.

Anthony Hawn

No Dice


Saturday morning, my two-year old daughter woke up a little earlier than I would have liked - I tried to convince her that because it was still dark outside, we should go back to sleep, and brought her down to our bed. No dice, but at least her face looked pretty cool lit up by the alarm clock that she insisted on dragging into the bed. Taken with the iPhone 5S that lies next to the bed (regular camera app) and minor adjustments to decrease exposure and sharpen in Photoshop.

Christopher Shaw



The photo has been taken by my smartphone in a park...while I was hanging out with my friends...

Rishav Anand

Without Time To Spare

Photo is called "without time to spare", taken this week, for the Dark Photography Challenge. Shot with a Sony a99 digital camera, 24mm tilt/shift lens at f/4, 30 second exposure, converted to black and white. This is part of an evolving series called "The Time Traveler." I hope you like it.


Brian Day

Super Saiyan


Just bought the 70D and the extra lens last week. Learning how to use it. Saw the Giz contest with tutorial. Thought it would be fun.

Aung Nay

Department of Labor


This is a picture of a street light at the Department of Labor's headquarters in DC. I've always loved their 1970's design but now that it's getting dark so early, I get to experience them in their lit up glory. I used a Leica X2 (it has a 35mm equivalent prime) at f4, 1/60 shutter, and ISO 400. I rested the camera on the lamp post and shot looking directly up.

Tony Sciascia




Rob Huber



I came across this dark pedestrian tunnel under a road in Reno, NV just in time to catch a girl at the threshold... Taken with an Olympus OM-D using the Panasonic 14mm wide lens, F 2.8, 1/80 sec.

Steven Fercho

Less Is More


There's no particular story behind this shot; I've been experimenting with still life shots and trying to tell a story with a less is more mentality.

Scott Swisher

Pippet Selfie


I used to work at a studio called Curious Pictures which went through some hard times and during its final weeks was throwing all sorts of old stop motion puppets in a dumpster. I was there to acquire some equipment and saw these puppets in the trash and took them home because they looked too special to end up in a landfill. I hear they are from a 1990's commercial for the cereal "Oh's" (you can see the "Oh's" shaped cereal nuggets in the lady's necklace) and looked so creepy, out of context, that I took them home to scare my roommate. After my fun, I put them in storage and kept thinking they would be useful at some point, and when I saw your photo contest, I figured this might be their time to shine once again. I had a lot of fun shooting these, I hope they bring you as much joy as they brought me.

My girlfriend, very talented, also took photos (and is also submitting) of these puppets while we were hanging out with friends tonight. She zeroed in on one puppet and feel like she got a more interesting shot, however, I wanted to use both puppets to paint a scene and went for more of a "puppet selfie" and feel it is FAR SUPERIOR ;)


Cory Alderman



No description given.

Jeff Hunter



'Tis the season. Shot in my front yard after a full day on the couch watching games. Taken with a Nikon d610. f2.8 and 2.0. Lit with a flashlight. My first attempt at low key photography.

Jeffrey Peffer

By Tea Candle Light


I was about to throw that little Halloween arrangement on the trash and I realized I could a photo with a tea candle light, recycling is good right? Maybe I"ll keep the arrangement until the next Halloween to see how it is going to hold shape...

Alecio De Paula

Inner Fountain Of Youth


As a note, my boyfriend Cory Alderman is also submitting using similar subject matter. His is of two puppets, including the female one that I have submitted here. They are stop motion puppets discarded by a studio he was previously employed at.

He has a story with these puppets. I do not. I have made one up.

While he has tried to frame his photo with social commentary .... I have chosen something more candid.


Ludmila has been in need of a way to get in touch with her younger self. To do so she has fashioned herself a necklace made of oatmeal cookies. We have found her here in a moment of elation, her eureka moment as she's finally tapped into her inner fountain of youth.

Leslie Chung

12 String


I am easily distracted by shiny objects and this vintage 12 string was all black and white and chrome. I thought it would make a perfect subject for this week's challenge. Shot with one light, the subject was about four feet from the wall which received no light. If anyone would like more about camera settings and lighting, please contact Ms. FOOP, who, last week, was so adamant that no one cares about such information. I'm sure she can figure out exactly how this was taken and would be glad to share.

John Locus

Narrow Stairway


Using my droid maxx phone I wasn't sure how great I could capture "dark" but when I came across this very narrow stairway I was very excited to try and capture something interesting. My brother illuminated the bottom few steps with a light which dramatically lit up the stairs to show them leading into the darkness.

Kristin Erling

Broken Heart


There's something hauntingly beautiful about a broken heart. This image was taken with a Canon 50D. ISO 100. Aperture 5.6. Shutter speed "0.3. I used a reading lamp, a dark apartment and the timer to get this shot.

Megan Ross

See? Isn't that collection SO much better than you average, everything's exposed perfectly collection? I certainly think so. Thanks to everyone for participating this week. Find the big shots on flickr.


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