Tuesday, May 13, 2008

National Geographic picks up Spokane Night Scenes image

I got a surprise this morning, when my wife logged onto the National Geographic website, and she found one of my Spokane Night Scenes landscape images. I guess I do recall sending something to NatGeo some time ago, but I never looked back to see what might have happened with the image.

Ironically, the images that made their Landscape Gallery, was one of the images taken out of Spokane. A night image to be sure, but it was not a local one. It was not even a recent one, but an image taken in Spring/summer of 2006. (Canon 350D). I think at this time the lens was a kit lens, and the 350D was fairly new in the inventory.

I also noticed that NatGeo turned my landscape into a puzzle. I guess I’m not patient enough to do their puzzle, even though I know exactly where all the parts of the photo need to be. I’m probably going to pass on doing their puzzle, but its kinda fun to know they did that with my late night image.

That location was one of the darkest places I have been with the exception of Riverside State Park. I remember setting up and exposing for at least 5 minutes in CR2 + JPEG. I’d have to check the original file, but I think it was an F8, using a wireless remote for that camera.

So, today has already been an interesting day, and it is some reinforcement that night photography can be something that is recognized….in plain old “regular spots.”

National Geographic has my image at:


It is the eighth one over to the right, I think. Their puzzle part of my image is in a section called, artfully, “puzzles.”

If you have trouble with the National Geographic display of my image, it is located locally at:



Sunday, May 11, 2008

Shooting Spokane after dark (with a camera)

It appears that my annual slowdown in night production is fast approaching. As it gets darker in Spokane, later and later, it also makes it a little more difficult to budget the time needed to get a variety of camera shots. Staying out all night is something I did back in my Spokane Police Department career, but I’d rather not do that any longer.

Normally it is September when things kick back into gear, and I’ll start lining up Spokane locations to shoot at night. Some early locations include a return to Holy Family Hospital, where there will be some new signs installed, and perhaps some wide angle shots from the south side looking north. I have one other target at Northtown Mall to do, so that will require another visit in the fall.

I have in mind a couple more bridges, such as Green Street, and TJ Meenach. Both may be a challenge for the same reasons (lighting is over the surface, but not underneath). Nonetheless, shooting those two at night is an objective. Having said that, I suppose it doesn’t actually mean I’ll use the shots I get…we shall see.

Redo the Campbell House, and three shots from/of the Spokane River from locations inside Riverfront Park. I did shoot a number of those locations after dark, but the cameras and their sensors have improved from the cameras I was using at the time of those visits.

Some of the earlier shots of locations in Spokane have been updated, as both cameras and software have improved over time. HDR, Noise reduction, Genuine Fractals, Adobe products, have all improved. There are others, but what I find is that “what is old, can be made just like new.” Since 90% of things I shoot have been either CR2, or NEF files, revisiting the original files and redoing them has been so much easier. Some of my River shots were shot in JPEG some years ago, and I will reshoot those, at the same times of the year that I shot them originally.

I have talked with several friends from the Spokane Camera Club, and we are going to embark on some painting with light projects. We have three different locations in mind, although I think it is a fair statement that I will keep that mum until we get those locations completed. Once again, I think those will be fall projects. One of the photographers is itching to experiment with these locations, so we might do it this summer…I’ll have to see if I can be talked into shooting that late. Fun for one, is not necessarily fun for all…….

I need to line up more regional shots. Although I will still spend time in my usual photowalk areas, I know there are other locations that should be captured. There is one regional location where I was denied permission to visit with my cameras (Mt St Michaels), but I know there are others that will say yes.

When I was denied permission to photograph Mt St Michaels, I have had some other photographers tell me that the just went up there and took pictures without asking permission. One person said that they never asked for permission because they didn’t think they needed it. Even though Mt St Michaels denied me permission to photograph at their location, I respect that decision, and asking permission is ALWAYS the right thing to do (on private property).

If anyone can think of anything I can visit with the camera gear, just send me an email. I’d love to give it a visit to see what it is that captured your eye.