After she retired from teaching art in 2003, Darlene Yeager-Torre developed an interest that’s become a second career as an artist using long-exposure photography and the targeted use of light.
Known as painting with light, the technique is done outside at night or inside a dark room. A long exposure time—from a minute to more than an hour—captures time as it lapses. In exterior shots, the movement of clouds or light is clear; in interior shots, Yeager-Torre may move objects and add or change light sources as the exposure unfolds.
Yeager-Torre’s interior work is often staged as a portrait of a person rather than a still life. She captures the essence of a person through his or her surroundings, creating the sense that the subject has just left the room but is still present in the objects photographed.
Her work outside can involve hours spent in the dark to obtain just one exposure. “The light at night is so luminous and scintillating, but very few people want to go out at night and do it themselves because you’re stumbling around in the dark,” says Yeager-Torre, who earned a BA in art from Edgecliff College in 1975 and a master’s in counseling in 1983.
“When you go out at night, the world is quiet and there’s a heightened sense of awareness,” she says. “You smell more things, you hear more things; it’s a completely different experience. It’s a very spiritual experience. I feel more in touch with God and the world than at any other time.”
Yeager-Torre studied night photography through a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. Her work has been shown in galleries throughout Ohio and can be seen at www.dytphotos.com.