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Born in Australia and now based in Melbourne, Tom Blachford first visited Palm Springs back in 2013. Struck by its pristine Modernist architecture he was keen to take photographs, but wary of repeating the many sunny images of California. Deciding to try working at night instead, he happened to venture out during a full moon, and stumbled on a new project.

He’s now been adding images to his Midnight Modern project for five years, capturing still-futuristic buildings with long exposures in the silvery, pleasingly alien light of the moon. Midnight Modern IV is his final addition to the series and sees him shooting outside Palm Springs for the first time, and also stretching the Mid-Century time-frame to include contemporary architecture such as the 2014 Black Desert House by Oller & Pejic.

Midnight Modern includes many famous architectural landmarks, including prefabricated houses such as the Futuro House shown above – one of 100 fibreglass homes made by Matti Suuronen in the 1960s and 70s. And in fact though Blachford was inspired by architectural icons, and by images which helped cement their reputation by photographers such as Julius Schulman and Slim Aarons, he was also interested in mass-built tract homes – the so-called ‘cookie-cutter’ houses built on large estates by organisations the Alexander Construction Company.

“I also love the execution of the tract home developments that have stood the test of time so well,” he told Architectural Digest. “In the era of McMansions it is so refreshing to see mass housing done well.”

https://tomblachford.com Midnight Modern by Tom Blachford is on show until 04 November at TOTH Gallery, 195 Chrystie Street, New York NY 1002 https://tothgallery.com

Black pool, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Black House I, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Doolittle 4, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Doolittle II, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
On the Rocks, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
On the Rocks II, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Sheats Goldstein I, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Jennings House II, from the series Midnight Modern © Tom Blachford
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy

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