Saturday, February 09, 2008

It’s snow problem after all

I lined up two targets for an evening and after dark shoot this week. Bad news was that each of those locations was covered in so much snow and ice that I just began to walk around the west end of downtown, to search out locations which were easier to get to.

Finding other locations was not too difficult, although getting close to the Spokane River in the area behind City Hall was tough to do. Where there wasn’t ice, there was at least two feet of snow. Fortunately there were ample footprints that allowed access under the Monroe Street Bridge, on the south side of the river.

The water level was at it’s lowest level in quite some time, and it must only be a few more days when the dam unleashes the annual “monster flow,” downstream. I shot about 100 images in this area, before moving up and onto the streets around Riverpark Square. After about 250 images total, I went inside Riverpark Square to warm up, and prepare to call it a night.

Of the shots taken on that evening, I settled on perhaps 6 images of the 250, to present online. That figure is actually not a complete record of the shots used, since as many as 5 images were combined in layers, to generate one complete shot. Shooting as wide open as I can, allows for dark areas to become lighter, and at the other end of the scale, shooting a very short exposure helps control the light emission levels. Putting those images together allows for a lot more uniformity in levels which might otherwise be too dark or too light.

In deep snow, balancing the platform for timed exposures can be a little tricky. There are times (about half) when the camera is actually tilted to the side of the tripod, simply because the ice is so high beneath the tripod. In the end, the images are level….and the tripod provides much needed stability in inclement weather and very low light.

I think I added at least 6 images to the website.