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.