Monday, May 11, 2009

Night shoots – A Spokane update.

In one sense of the word “Springtime,” it is a pleasure to see that it has arrived. After all, this winter was a disaster in more ways than one, and once again, it seemed to go on day after day with no end. Since complaints generally go on deaf ears, it is just one more notch in the level of experiences shared by many people, not just me.

Yet, it is the subtle changes in seasons that impact, at least slightly, what I do. Simply put, I shoot at night, exclusively. I can go out there with the masses with digital cameras in the daytime, but unless it is a community service project I am doing for someone, daylight is not a challenge. It just isn’t. Night shoots are ALWAYS a challenge, in many more ways than one. Yet, it is the challenge of darkness that is of interest to me.

In the past few months, I have focused on either downtown Spokane, or the North Side. One very fun project was for the Northeast Youth Center, at their annual Nighttime Easter Egg hunt. When I first got the announcement/release from Spokane Parks, I could imagine lots of colorful light trails running all over the place, perhaps with varied colors, and directions. After it began to get dark at Hays Park, the lighting possibilities were obvious, with hundreds of children and parents/grandparents running all over with glow lights or flashlights. Here are some of the images from the night:

Capturing all of the lights as they wandered through the field of view was pure fun and enjoyment. It can be said matter of factly, that the photographers that night (3) had as much fun as the kids did. I would not hesitate to jump out there next year when they do this event again. Now that I know the ropes of the event, capturing the lights will be much easier since I know how the process works for all of the people and kids.

In downtown Spokane, there are some new sites/sights. Maybe just new to me, but they are very colorful additions to different neighborhoods. Beginning with this next link, are a short series of images captured that evening. Just when you think downtown has nothing new; the camera can show that all things change over time.

A little more recent was a return to the Wandermere area (Business Park). There is something about these built up hardscape areas that make for some great intellectual challenges. It no longer is an issue of what the cameras can do, but what can you do to change or modify the appearance of the images at night, including a great deal of water. I shot this area last year, but along with another photographer, we went after the water up there once again. Painting somewhat drab waterfalls with light, can go a long way to modifying the look, without much alterations in RAW post processing. Taking the bracketed shots in various colors and blending them, can take each waterfall into something that could be, rather than what is currently.

On another occasion, I went down to Riverfront Park, as it was supposed to be a very foggy night. I got there ahead of most of the fog, but within a half hour of walking around and shooting a number of locations, on came the dense fog. Here is a short series of images, as the fog finally arrived down there.


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