"5" in Night Walks by Tim Hyde
"5" in Night Walks by Tim Hyde; Courtesy of Multiple Exposures Gallery

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Night Walks at Multiple Exposures Gallery

In his fourth solo exhibition at Alexandria’s Multiple Exposures Gallery, D.C. and Richmond-based photographer Tim Hyde returns to one of his comfort zones: darkness. Hyde isn’t the only artist who has embraced the limitations of nighttime photography—Gregory Crewdson, Todd Hido, and Frank Hallam Day have also thrived in the gloom of night—but Hyde’s most recent series is notable for testing the limits of human perception. There’s simply no way to experience his low-contrast images other than seeing them in person, with your nose pressed right up to the glass. Consider “#5” in Hyde’s series. In person, you can make out a bright slit of orange light that leaks from under a door and slices through a quiet porch. Yet the gash barely shows up in the online version of the photograph, and can’t be seen at all in the printed handout at the gallery. Hyde’s images revel in their stillness, punctuated by the rare rectangle of light from a window, or occasional small figures slinking around, half unseen. Hyde’s final photograph, “#20,” takes the mood to its logical conclusion, offering an image with a figure and a tree that is almost uniformly black. Darkness, Hyde writes, “makes us aware of our limitations, of our relative place in the universe.” Night Walks is on display through March 19 at Multiple Exposures Gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St. Alexandria. multipleexposuresgallery.com. Free.