Saturday, December 13, 2008

Shooting Spokane, “the plain old views.”

So, why go to the same old places to see the same old sights? Photographing night scenes in Spokane is absolutely a different experience every single time I go out. Even the same locations are different, albeit most people would say they all look the same each day. Yet, they look different based on time of day, time of year, and the conditions of the weather at a given moment.

This week, my shoot involved carrying no additional lighting with me, and there were literally no targets identified in advance. The timing of the downtown visit was at sunset, and as the sun went down, ambient lighting changed, the skies changed, and the shadows changed. As it got darker, what were most enjoyable were the seasonal holiday influences, no matter where you looked.

A couple of places had shadows where I hadn’t seen them before so I shot some images of some “regular old places, and yet even they looked different through the lens of the cameras. One of the locations was immediately north of Escent on Spokane Falls Blvd. The shot had been done before in some earlier foggier shoots, but I shot it again as the light and shadows were different. (

Then there was the Olive Garden downtown. The angle of the approaching night sky and the angle of an overhead light shining on a sign, made this location a perfect time for some shots. At the corner of the building the Olive Garden sign was featured, along with shadows that I had not seen before. Add the interior lighting and it was a no brainer to just grab this shot. (

A little later in the evening it was time to capture a little of the downtown seasonal decorations and lighting. Adjacent to the downtown Library and connected to Nordstrom is a skywalk. The holiday decorations along with lighted outdoor trees made this view come alive, although it is just a plain old site that “we see everyday.” The sights after dark, are always different, and in my view……many times are improved over the plain daylight views. A look at this view demonstrates that fact immediately. Here is a site, and also a sight, that now looks remarkable different from the “norm.” Take a look:

Even the Lincoln building looked different tonight, and comparing it to some shots I did a few years ago was a must do: ( The traffic was so busy at the Riverside and Lincoln intersection, I reversed the shot location to try and capture the traffic and the structure(s) southwest of the Lincoln building on this evening. (

Plain old downtown sites? Maybe, but after dark and as the sun disappears, these “plain old locations,” have a completely different look to them.

If you haven’t tried shooting these “plain old sites,” after dark, give it a try. I think your evening photo shoot will be a very pleasant surprise to you.

John D. Moore, CPP
Spokane Night Scenes