Monday, March 03, 2008

In the dark, at Spokane’s Sacred Heart

The target for this night was the area in, and around, Sacred Heart Medical Center. I had nothing particularly in mind, but to look for photo ops that would show themselves. It was a very windy night, and it was going to make it a little tenuous to extend the center mount of the tripod, at pretty much any spot. Keeping it at the normal platform level means, you will need to bend over quite a bit…and after a couple of hours…well, you get the picture.

Approaching from the east, I took images of a sculpture on the south side of the street across from the ER, but the peripheral lighting (high pressure sodium), really removed any color at all of the sculpture. I shot a number of images at the ER area, but so far nothing really appeared of any value.

East of the main entrance at Spokane’s Sacred Heart Medical Center, was a well lighted statue. It was lit from the ground pointing up, so the top portion of the statue area was very well illuminated. I set up the tripod and took images with both Canon cameras, (Wide angle 11 X 18, and my walk around 70 X 200). The cameras both have seats for the tripod, so it goes pretty fast. Foot traffic and vehicle traffic were actually very constant, so I was not in a position to move around very far. I shot about 20 images with each camera and the images looked pretty productive in the viewer of both cameras. I used the 11 X 18 in landscape mode, and then zoomed in as far as I could with the 70 X 200, in portrait mode. The aesthetics created by the manual manipulation of the lenses created the ambient light seemingly generated from the statue.

I found a parking lot on the west side of the Scared Heart Medical Center, and went to the top floor. I shot a number of images of Deaconess Medical Center, as well as the downtown area, generally facing the northwest. The wind was so forceful, that there were times the entire floor of the parking garage was moving, so after reviewing images taken that night, some of the images were blurry, and not sharp. I don’t think it was the tripod moving, but I could feel the entire floor moving during wind gusts. I shot about 50 images from here, and was satisfied with only two images of those shot. Just looking at what appeared on the monitor later, I could tell exactly when the gusts of wind had appeared. It is not an exactly a fair analogy of what occurred though. To generate 2 completed images, is usually a combination of at least three images taken without moving the camera, and just adjusting either the shutter or the aperture opening. So, those images need to be in concert with one another. One is generally wide open to lighten up the darker areas, and at the other end of the spectrum, one image taken at a very dark setting so that the blown out lights are reduced considerably. The only thing that seems to stay the same at a location is how cold you feel, since the cameras seem to do very well in cold temps.

Of the night, I am guessing that the statue at the entrance to Sacred Heart Medical Center might be my favorite that night. Some very nice people exiting their shifts at the hospital stopped by to see what I was doing, and with one exception I had fun talking with them. One drunk looking for the hospital ER, slammed into the tripod which screwed up a progression of 6 images. I told the guy where the ER was, and he tripped and fell as he finally walked to the ER area. Sometimes, these things remind me so much of my police days…..

If you are monitoring any of these images, you can go to the thumbnails at: