Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Spokane Night Photographers

And so the fun begins

Night shooting is a lot of fun. If it isn’t, you are doing it wrong.

One way to get started, at least locally, is to join up with a number of other night shooters who go out with me once or twice a month, to shoot different types of locations. No cost involved, and you can have both fun, and also learn some things. Right now, I have about 30 listed night shooters, who attend the on-location shoots. I tend to break the groups down into smaller numbers instead of getting thirty out there at once, but my groups tend to run about 12-14 people at each location.

For me, this is the “season.” It gets dark early, and you can shoot at night without having to spend all night outdoors carting all of your gear around. This past Sunday, I was joined by about a dozen photogs on the Riverpoint Campus just east of downtown Spokane. My goals of the evening were to get the photogs into a situation that they would have to begin to manage high intensity lighting features. After about 45 minutes, I took them to a second location on the Riverpoint Campus where there was darkness, and almost the exact opposite of what they shot earlier.

Exposure to these situations can be helpful in the future, and having other photogs around can give everyone different ideas. All of these events are “outside the box opportunities.” There is usually more than one way to accomplish each objective, but after developing a workflow at a location, it can prepare you to deal with just about anything in front of the lens.

It isn’t a secret that I love shooting night scenes. To invite all of these folks out to different locations and see them enjoy what they are doing, make a few hours a totally enjoyable experience. Some of the night shooters are not affiliated with any local camera or photo organization. Some are members of the Spokane Camera Club, Spokane Valley Camera Club, Photographic Society of America, or Inland Outlook Photo Club. Some are very basic shooters, some are moderately experienced, and a few are advanced level photographers. The varied skill levels are very helpful in developing answers to photogs questions who are using a variety of camera equipment brands.

Did I mention that night shooting was fun? Of course I did, and it is a lot of fun. I tend to take my groups to areas I have shot before, and I leave my cameras at home in the office. It was hard for me to do that in the beginning, but I found out that coaching and helping some of the others cannot be done successfully if I am trying to shoot for myself. So, I develop my targets and visit them either before, or after the evenings I schedule night shoots around Spokane.

We have room for more shooters, if you want to visit Spokane locations after dark with some others who want to try to broaden their shooting skills. Let’s face it. We live in a beautiful place, and it actually gets prettier as the sun goes down. Lots of different things going on, different lighting and activity centers, and lots of motion. For years I saw very, very, few photographers after dark. Now, I get to visit with at least a dozen or so each time a new night shoot is scheduled. Breaking the existing group in half to shoot the same location on different evenings has been helpful in managing the numbers of photogs in attendance. I am interested in challenging each of the night shooters to a full blown Spokane project, in the future. Something that would combine the developed skills of ALL the photographers, into a single objective. I am testing the waters right now with my local Spokane community contacts, but for now all I can say is stay tuned for a fairly large Spokane project which can use all of the photographers in one evening’s project.


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