“We all have to walk through the shadow in order to find the light.” I am a person who uses street photography to better understand myself and my life. Every picture that I have photographed reflects my emotions, my feelings, and my experience at the moment it was made.

At first, I practiced street photography randomly. I just went out and photographed as part of my routine. Slowly, I found myself being attracted to people who were walking alone. Probably since I enjoy solitude, I felt a kinship with these single-person frames.

Afterward, I did research about light. I studied color palettes from Edward Hopper to Ernst Haas; I read about the rhetoric of images by Roland Barthes; I thought about Sigmund Freud’s concept of the uncanny; I looked at clips from Ted Forbes. Finally, I went out photographing: morning, afternoon and evening, every single day. I noticed that from the morning until the late afternoon, the sunlight was too bright. Around dusk, the fallen light provided a proper contrast and the right temperature for the color and tone I was seeking.

The main colors I use in this work are orange (in the light areas) and dark blue (in the shadows). They provide the right balance between happiness and sadness that I am hoping to express. This work was produced over the course of one year in Nottingham, UK .This is my “Stage of Light.”

—Tan Kraipuk

Editors’ note: this project was singled out by the jury of the Street Photography Awards 2017. See all of the inspiring work by the 37 winners, finalists and jurors’ picks!

If you liked this article, we’d recommend these previous features: Into the Light, a series photographed on the streets of Nice that teases apart three core features of a successful street photograph: light, subject and proximity; Coexistence, a project that highlights the relationship between animals and humans in the city; and Break Time, painterly, almost Impressionistic images photographed through hazy bus stop shelters.