Sunday, April 18, 2010

Olmstead Overlook, a Spokane night photo shoot

This week’s plan was to take out a group of photographers for a night shoot, with my target being the Olmstead Overlook. This historical landmark at 3rd and Arthur is in disrepair, with ruins and rock walls which are falling down. Yet, this is a place that had its prime, until Interstate 90 split Liberty Park basically in 2 parts.

In 2006/2007 I visited this park area, with some older equipment, and shot a series of images of the rock wall walkway. It is just plainly different than anything around here, and capturing what used to be seemed important. As a result, last night I gathered 12 photographers for a night shoot at this same location.

Many of the photographers were very experienced, and it helped with a few of my group that were not so advanced. As it got darker and darker, the questions from our less experienced folks were perfect for their learning experience. The more times those photographers go out and shoot these very dark nights, the better they will get.

Since this area is replete with rocks and rock walls, it was my goal to shoot with a variety of colored lighting elements. “Painting with light,” can take an area which is less interesting, and make it very pronounced. Our group of twelve worked in shifts to run the lighting (Big Max handheld flashlights with colored lenses), and to also run the cameras for the photogs who had to be in a separate location. This concept worked fairly well, although the choreography for lighting and shooting with a dozen people needed some “fine tuning.”

As we worked through the evening, two of us burned so much power from our Big Max units, that those units were essentially dead. It came at the end of the shoot however, so we were all able to collect all of our gear and “hit the road.”
I made a suggestion to the group, that if they had any “keepers,” that perhaps the photographers would donate an image or two to the Spokane Parks Foundation (SPF). SPF does a wonderful job locally for Spokane Parks, and if our photographers can help them in their efforts we are glad to so. I sent SPF a link to a low resolution image I added to my website, in case it is something that would be useful to them.

The link to this image from last night is located at:

This shoot was likely to be the last group activity until Fall. It is darker much later now, and my preference is to not keep all of these people out late into the night. I’ll likely still be going out after dark to grab shots, but I won’t ask larger groups of photogs to have to do that.

No comments: