Editor’s Note: Photographer and longtime Hidden City contributor Rob Lybeck likes to keep his shutter busy. Not a day goes by that I do not receive an effervescent dispatch from some corner of the city that pours out from my computer screen and almost renders itself in sparkling 3D. Through an editing process that sinks deep shadows and dark hues into the void and brings contrast into the foreground with crackling, vivid zeal, he animates street life in Center City and the surrounding neighborhoods through an urban-tinted kaleidoscope, casting his subject matter in post-production hyperreality. It’s the core of Lybeck’s signature style, the one by which I’ve come to know his work.
“I really enjoy post-processing,” Lybeck says. “The options of how an image can be processed are endless, and it’s the thrill of getting there, for me. Starting out with film and printing in 1990, I would spend my ‘date nights’ sequestered in the darkroom processing my B&W work. That was my world. Now with digital, my darkroom is my computer.”
The following collection of images marks the debut of Hidden Lens, a new series that highlights the work of local photographers. With this first installment, I’ve put together some of Lybeck’s more dreamlike captures. These are images just outside of our peripheral view, patterns and repetitions ignored by the tired eye, everyday places made strange by odd circumstance and cover of night.