Satoki Nagata came to Chicago in 1992 with a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, a field in which he worked for a decade, before turning his attention to photography, studying with Damaso Reyes. In experimenting with flash and slow shutter speeds, he created the series, "Lights in Chicago," which elegantly captures the winter months in the Windy City.
Working with the limited ISO range of the Leica M8 and M9, Nagata began to explore using flash in street photography. After two weeks of experimentation, he developed the technique you see here, which creates beautiful, surreal imagery in a single exposure, without much post-processing or reflective tricks, as he notes. The series is notable for its striking lighting, compositions that paint an almost alien world, and its excellent use of expression. As Nagata puts it:
'Lights in Chicago' is a part of my theme under 'Lights in the City.' Here, 'Lights' refers to human lives, stories, minds, spirits, and souls. Along with the theme 'Lights in Chicago,' I have been doing photojournalistic and street photography.