Saturday, December 30, 2006

Closing out the year, with a camera

The end of the year 2006 is upon us, and it means I have lots of things to do with the cameras. First Night begins with the kid’s event at the new convention center, and then shooting photos for the rest of the night downtown. 6-8 members of local camera clubs are volunteering their time to photograph as many events as they can, so I won’t be the only one with a couple of cameras trying to document the nights activities.

Then, January 5th, is First Friday Art Walk. I just completed a transition of many of the Spokane Night Scenes prints which were displayed in December, so there are many new ones on the Wall at Gina’s Design Corner at 1st and Browne. The artist reception runs from 5PM to 8PM on January 5th, at Gina’s. What a great group of people, and they really know how to have a party at the artist receptions. If you get a chance, stop by and enjoy the new Spokane Night Scenes photographs, as well as the refreshments provided by the interior designers at Gina’s. It should be a good time.

I have been provided with some photo op suggestions for the Spokane area, so in January I will be out shooting at the locations some of you have identified.

Lots to do over the next week and then lots more Spokane Night Scenes photos to do around Spokane.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Holidays in Spokane, through the lens of a camera

Approaching a documentary-like production of night images in Spokane, sure demonstrates one thing…that Spokane holidays are really very colorful. Call it art, call it decoration; it is a pleasure to view it. Photographing some of the holiday presentations can be a real challenge, since there are so many displays around.

In a recent foray around downtown Spokane, I found lighted scenes at every turn I made downtown. Small lighted trees, larger lighted tree presentations, and strings of lights up and down the streets. Just shooting images up and down the streets captured many lights, and it certainly exemplifies the colors of holiday lighting.

I look forward to shooting more night scenes, and presenting nighttime Spokane throughout the holidays.

Happy holidays to everyone, and I hope you enjoy the holiday photos.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

First Friday art display, December 2006

Gallery displays are an interesting phenomenon, and a fun one at that.

Spokane Night Scenes began a display of after dark photographs, at Gina’s Design Center, at 1 North Browne, in downtown Spokane. The display began on the First Friday of December 2006, and it will continue throughout the month of December 2006.

Spokane Night Scenes has also been invited to display again in January (January 5th) at the First Friday art event, also at Gina’s Design Center at 1 North Browne, in downtown Spokane. For the second such event, we will switch out many of the existing prints for other after dark photos of Spokane. Print orders and CD’s will once again be available at Gina’s. The prints from the January First Friday event will also remain throughout January at Gina’s.

At this month’s First Friday art event, it was just great fun. I had an opportunity to visit with some members of the Spokane Camera Club, as well as many visitors to the art display hosted by Gina’s Design Center. I sure enjoyed speaking with people about the different Spokane locations as seen in the display downtown at Gina’s. Taking photographs after dark in Spokane is certainly fun to do, but talking to art display visitors is a great time as well.

If you get a chance to visit Gina’s Design Center enjoy the photographic prints of Spokane Night Scenes. Gina’s Design Center sure hosts a great artist reception, and the refreshments they provide are nothing short of fabulous.

Enjoy the photographic prints which will continue to be displayed in December, and stop in and visit us again at the First Friday art event in January (January 5th).

Some of the visitors to this months artist reception identified some buildings they thought should be photographed, so I’ll be looking at those buildings over the next month or so. Developing strategies to photograph some locations is almost as difficult as the weather conditions can be around Spokane. A couple of First Friday visitors asked about the old ONB building downtown, so I’ll look into that one to see how I approach the project.

Happy holidays everyone. See you again at the reception, the First Friday of 2007.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Spokane Night Scenes art gallery display

First Friday art walk, in downtown Spokane, December 1st, 2006

The night photography of Spokane Night Scenes has been invited to display selected Spokane Night Scenes photographs for the First Friday Art Walk, the first Friday of December. Please consider this an invitation to view the Gallery display of Spokane Night Scenes images at at Gina's Design Corner, 1 N. Browne St. in downtown Spokane.

Visit with Spokane Night Scenes photographer, retired Spokane Police Cpl. John D. Moore, CPP, from 5PM through 8PM. December 1st, 2006.

See the art gallery display of selected Spokane Night Scenes prints, at Gina's Design Corner, 1 N. Browne St. If you have a favorite Spokane Night Scenes photo let us know and we will try and display it for you.

Don't forget, join Spokane Night Scenes photographer John Moore, and enjoy some photographic prints of Spokane after dark. See you at the event, from 5PM through 8PM. December 1st, 2006!

Refreshments will be served.

John D. Moore, CPP
Spokane, Washington , 99228-0715

Rain on the roof

Winter has arrived in Spokane, and I have no clue how that happened so fast. Yet, making the transition from summertime photo shoots to winter, takes a little “doing.”

Electronic camera systems don’t do well with moisture, so reducing the exposure to rain or snow is at the top of my list of things to do. This past week, I was able to climb up on top of a historic downtown building after dark. A friend of mine (J.C.) had arranged all the permissions I needed, and we both got out on the roof. Initially it was cool and breezy, but not too difficult to shoot 60 or so image frames. Then the weather changed dramatically, and rain started to fall. I managed to get something less than 100 images (Canon RAW + JPEG), before the two of us had to withdraw from the roof. The wind had gotten to the point that even my stable platform tripod began to move, and the rain started hitting the lens too often for me to stay. Even so, I got one shot I really liked, and three others that were “okay.”

As I was on top of this downtown building, it seems that it was only yesterday I was responding to Spokane PD calls for service at almost all of the buildings and street corners below. Now I was looking at these same locations with a camera, from a great height. What had once been pretty intense situations at many of the locations below were now extremely pretty sights in the lens of the camera. Why I thought of all those calls or incidents, while on top of this roof, is beyond me. The one thing which hasn’t changed in the times since my SPD career is that the scenery of Spokane after dark is extraordinary. When you see it through the lens of the camera, there are very few “poor things to shoot.”

My thanks to John C. for arranging last week’s photo shoot downtown. I know it was only a quick 45 minutes on the rooftop, but I enjoyed getting above the levels of the streetlights, which can be a real battle from time to time. Sharing a few police war stories with someone else who has lived the experience was also a good time, and was not spoiled by some wind or rain.


Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Focusing and fun

Taking photos after dark can sure have its moments. In shooting images after dark, you can count on one thing, and that is darkness. Darkness can create all kinds of effects on things to be photographed, but it can also create havoc in focusing on the subjects/objects to be photographed. The darker it gets, the less use auto focus becomes, and depending on how dark it is, manual focus is an adventure. Since you will have trouble in total darkness in seeing the totality of the object you are shooting, it will be a lot less visible in the viewfinder. As a result, manually focusing on objects to be shot is very, very tenuous. It really becomes a series of trial and error, depending on no light, or a little light available. Then you shoot, correct the shot from the LCD view, and you are off again, one more time. So it goes, until you see a correctly focused image in the LCD, and then the bracketing of shots can really begin in earnest.

This week, I enjoyed total darkness in north Spokane County. I also enjoyed moderate lighting at the Bozarth Retreat Center, which made focusing issues much easier. Some of the Bozarth images were shot at sunset, or just after sunset. The rich blues in the sky helped the auto focus issues, and later in the evening manual focus seemed easier since there was some ambient area light to direct the lens to its optimum viewing.


Last night I spent the night at and on the Gonzaga University Campus. I had a list of buildings to look at, but darkness and large deciduous trees and shrubs blocked almost all of the viewing to the buildings on my list. Some of their buildings were visible, and with lighting at these buildings, the color renditions really were represented on the outside walls of the buildings.

Although it has been a busy week with the cameras, it has most certainly been a productive one. There are so many good representations of the community which can be documented after dark. Absent the periodic focus issues, this night photography is great fun. If you get some chances to get out there, have a good time with it.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Shooting in the Park

Last night was a slow night in Riverfront Park, but there were some visual changes in the surrounding environment. One thing noticed right away was the fact the Parkade sign is now illuminated. Last time I was shooting in the park, that sign atop the Parkade building downtown was dark. The fact it was illuminated is a good thing and also a challenge for a camera. The extra light from the letters can blow out a photo with its brightness. I bracketed the shots from darker to lighter, with the darker images reproducing the Parkade letters pretty well. Of course that almost eliminates the details on most other things, so this week editing will attempt to establish the entire scene, by layering, erasing, reducing some opacity, and feathering the edges.

The sign at Anthony's caught my eye, so I shot a number of frames adjacent to Anthony's, and their FISH came out really detailed. Editing should allow that one to get online this week.

I found a clear area to photograph the east side of the WWP/Avista building. The green letters have always been readily identifiable, but with some in-camera image reviews I noticed a lot of the lighting in the Washington Water Power letters visibly dark. Dark spots appear periodically in the green letters, to the point I may not be able to upload those images to the web. I'll look again this week to see if there is another way to produce clean and clear green letters, without the letters looking like a paint or clone job. We shall see.

A great moon last night, with brief moments of the moon bouncing lights off ample passing clouds. In the area of the reflection rocks and bridges (west side of the park), the moon gave off some bright light, so I hope to get at least one of those images online, bringing out the details of the ground and rock surfaces.

The park is a great place to take a camera and tripod, and no matter how many times you look around, something has changed. Even the deciduous trees and shrubs are making their seasonal changes, and they are visible even in low light conditions. Riverfront Park is just a photogenic environment, and changes occur with or without any man made assistance. It’s plainly an enjoyable experience, and easy on the eyes and camera lens.


Monday, September 25, 2006

Light Reading

Last night I had the opportunity to meet Peter Reiquam and his wife, at Peter's art project "Light Reading." Peter designed the project for the WSU/EWU Riverpoint Campus, just west of the student activity building. I had taken a photo earlier displaying his art work, and Peter was alerted that the image I took was online. Last night I set it up so I could photograph Peter sitting in one of the chairs at his art project.

The blue light at this location is very intense, and going as dark as I could go was the best way to approach the photo effort. In taking the images, several images were used, with the darkest image layers giving a better look at the actual blue colors, and the lighter layers giving some details of the art project and the area. In the second image, I cropped the blue light source totally out of the frame, since it had been covered before in the overall photo at the location. I was more interested in the blue reflected off the artist, as well as the light colors being generated in the immediate area.

Peter did a good job on this art project, as you can see for yourself. The art is located on the Riverpoint Campus, west of the student activity building. At night, you won't be able to miss this project, the intensity of the blue lights are very noticeable. Enjoy it, it is hard to miss.


Friday, September 22, 2006

Habitat for Humanity

Last night, September 21st, 2006, I had the pleasure of photographing some new residents getting their Habitat house keys, for the homes built for them in this years Habitat Blitz build. There were three homes, for three families, and they were overjoyed to be getting their new homes.

The Habitat staff and volunteers were great as they made the presentations to the new homeowners, and to photograph all of the activities was a ton of fun. The photos (numbering something just under 400) were all sent to the staff at Habitat for Humanity for their use.

These people at Habitat do wonderful things for families, and watching the results of their work last night was a pleasure.

I spend so much time shooting images after dark, that having two cameras in my hands during the daytime was almost a strange experience. I set up a Nikon CP8700 to shoot crowd shots, and used a Canon 350D for the ceremonies and for the documentation photos done at all three homes. I had a blast doing this for Habitat, and would do it again anytime.

Good work to the Directors, volunteers and staffers at Habitat for Humanity.

Spokane Night Scenes

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Shooting photos after dark has had its share of interesting moments. A group of five men stopped when I was bracketing some shots on the Clock tower footbridge. One of the guys inquired about what I was doing, and I mentioned I was shooting reflections in the river. He looked and advised that there were no reflections in the water, so "why was I taking pictures of that?"

One of the other guys walked over and said, he could see plenty of reflections in the water, and wished me luck with them. The first guy told the second that there were no reflections, and within 30 seconds the five of them began arguing about how many reflections there were. They never made any comments to me after that, but they argued about reflections until I last saw them walking southbound past the Carousel.

I shot about 8 bracketed shots from the footbridge, and then walked to the east side of the Washington Street couplet to shoot some other reflections. The image taken from the Clock tower footbridge is located at:

Reflection images from the east side of the Washington Street couplet are at:

Enjoy any of the reflections you see, unless that first guy was right… :-)


Monday, September 18, 2006

Spokane at Night

It is indeed a pleasure to take a look at the Night Scenes in and around Spokane, Washington. Looking at things after dark, is close to something I did back in my police career, but now I do it with a digital camera in my hand.

I hope you enjoy the photos of Spokane Night Scenes. Our URL is:


John D. Moore, CPP
PO Box 18715
Spokane, Washington