Wednesday, April 09, 2008

A winter that will never end

Wow, it’s still cold out there at night. Yep, cold, windy, and on most occasions…dark. Dressing for the conditions is still the most fundamental step in night photography, but one would think it has got to get warmer around here eventually.

Recent activities for Spokane Night Scenes has been the Marina in Bellingham (Washington), as well as downtown Spokane. Some recent images were shot from the area of Cliff drive, and Pioneer Park. I still amazed at all the lights that are out in front of the camera lens, as Spokane goes into darkness mode. To me, it is just as beautiful as it was the first time I saw it back in my Spokane PD patrol division days on the south hill.

So what is left to shoot? I’ve heard it recently, that I have already shot about everything there is around town. Not so fast, methinks. The reality of looking at things through the lens of a camera is that things change, every day. You can go back to the exact location 5 days in a row, and there will be something different each time you go there. Change the time of day, and the time of the year, and you can literally shoot forever with all the different views, in exactly the same community.

Lately I am dealing with a new DSLR (Canon 40D), and I am also retiring a good one (Canon 350D). My secondary camera that I take with me each night is a Canon 400D (XTI), and I think the options available to me now are getting a lot more plentiful. The 40D camera is easily a good piece of hardware, although I wish I had thought to switch the noise reduction features ON, in my most recent outing. I shoot at somewhere around 1 second exposures, through lengthy bulb exposures, normally at F8 to F11. Almost always, I use the lowest ISO, and with Canon cameras that is 100. So, even though I forgot to set the noise reduction for my lengthy exposures this week, I was able to reduce the noise in post photographic editing. I have enabled those features on the Canon 40D now, so next time out I can concentrate on what I am shooting.

This week, images were shot with an 18-200 lens, as well as a wide angled 11-18 (both Tamron). I normally shoot with wide angle on the Canon XTI camera, and flex the choices of glass on the other camera.

In upcoming weeks, I will begin shooting up on the north side, most likely in the area of Northtown. I have spoken with Mall management about shooting after dark, although I really have no clue as to what might render itself to being presentable yet. One thing for sure, every time out with some cameras, is a good time indeed. I’m just hoping that things start feeling like Spring in Spokane. I look forward to one maybe two layers of clothing, instead of three and sometimes four, with two wool hats pulled over my ears.

Apparently Spokane Night Scenes has really acquired a viewer following, with an average of 2200 hits each day coming in from the statistics server. Amazing, I think. I think that what is happening is that Spokanites are beginning to see what their community looks like after dark.

Enjoy some of the new photos, most of which can be linked from at:

John D. Moore, CPP

Spokane Night Scenes