Tag Archives: night photography

Day 29 365 Project

Colorful reflections at night.
Colors on the street at night.

I was really happy with this photo. It’s one of many that wouldn’t be possible without an inexpensive super-zoom camera.

The parking lot with the the reflections of a far away Toys Are Us store and the street with the passing car are actually very far apart.

This photo was absolutely boring taken with my high dollar DSLR and prime lens. I pulled out my cheap Canon SX50 superzoom, it brought what I was seeing my head to life. All that I had to do was find a manual setting that would blur a passing car and the superzoom compressed the image into scene that was interesting.

Don’t listen to the pros – superzooms are great, affordable tools that are a lot of fun to create photos with.

Day 23 365 Photo Project

Light trail and Budweiser Sign
Failing at light trailing.

I tried over and over to get an interesting light trail at night and I didn’t care for the result. I did find out just how good I could get with that while not using a tripod. I found a fence post to rest on, but that’s really not steady.

The problem was that I needed a shutter speed long enough to create the trail, but I also needed to remain steady enough as to not blur the Budweiser sign. It was an exercise in learning limitations of my equipment and skills.

Day 22 365 Photo Project

Gas Station At Night
Duke Gas Station At Night

So what’s happening with this 365 project is that I work all day then end up spending the evening either contemplating going out to shoot or wondering around looking for something to shoot. It’s winter, so I haven’t been doing much walking, just driving around looking at what is out there in the somewhat dead town of Newark, Ohio.

I keep ending up looking at the lit up gas stations when I’m completely out of ideas. They’ve got the essential ingredient for night photos, light.

Day 17 365 Project

Beer Drive Thru
The Midwest phenomena – the drive-thru.

Drive-thru’s amuse me because even after traveling many places, I didn’t notice that most of the world doesn’t have these. I didn’t notice until a friend who had never been to Ohio asked why in the hell people in Ohio are to lazy to walk inside to get their beer.

Laziness is only part of this. It’s convenience for the customer and inexpensive for the owner. I’m not sure why they don’t exist everywhere, but I’d guess that liquor laws and licenses come into play.

They make them bright and colorful and even charge more. Customers don’t mind when they’re in a hurry.

I like the lights and colors for a night photo shot.

Day 15 365 Project

Triangle Bar sign in Newark, Ohio.
Antique sign for the Triangle Bar in Newark, Ohio

Tonight was a fun night. See the guy poking his head around the corner? He had a problem with me taking a photo of the sign and wanted to argue about it. I left when he told me to wait right there because he’d be back. LOL.

Street photography intrigues me because of this idea. There’s no law against taking photos in the street. It’s 100% legal, but maybe not safe. What’s fun that’s safe anyhow?

Day 7 365 Project

Neighborhood bar on a winter night.
Beer, liquor, and food on a cold January night.

This project has me posting photos I wouldn’t usually post. I was looking for something with a cold feel to it and this is what I came up with. Just an old dirty bar with the “Beer, Liquor, Food” sign.

I’m trying to get better at night photography. It’s not a good fit for me as I refuse to carry a tripod. There are techniques that can be used where there is some light. Tonight I manually focuses and rapid fired a bunch of shots. The idea with that is that you will not move the lens on at least one of the many shots.

Day 4 365 Project

Newark, Ohio on a cloudy winter night.
Newark, Ohio On A Cloudy Winter Night

To make up for yesterday’s laziness, this shot was done in the cold January wind in the late evening. Not the prime time for a landscape shot, but it’s different. Nobody else is going to have a shot like this unless they go through the same hardships.

Its’ far from perfect. The wind was blowing and it blurred the trees. the details aren’t perfectly sharp. There are a few problems, but this common idea among photographers that a technically flawed photo cannot still be interesting is problematic. Some of the most interesting photos in history were flawed.

Many have never seen Newark, Ohio at night from this vantage point. I like the starred lights and the trails of light from the traffic. It’s a fun shot, not a magazine cover.

Canon Powershot’s Night Mode Is Useful

I’m not much for in-camera special effects. It doesn’t take long behind a camera before you know where the settings should be and the scene modes become useless. In-camera HDR is really bad in many circumstances. More than anything else, once you learn a few Photoshop skills, effects can be added in post-processing with more control.

There is one in-camera mode that I am really impressed with and that’s the night mode in my Canon Powershot cameras. It’s not perfect by any means, but it does more than just mask photos with a special effect layer. It takes multiple shots and uses them to create a jpeg photo with greatly reduced blur. Here is a night photo taken with a Canon SX50.

Harley-Davidson motorcycles lit up at night during a motorcycle rally. 

The mode sets the ISO high, so there is some noise, but that can be cleared up on Photoshop. The upside to this for street photography and other night photos is that night shots can be had without a tripod. This photo was taken in a crowd at night. There isn’t even a blur to the people moving in the background.

Modes like Canon’s night mode are probably available in other brands at this point. It’s a worthwhile feature as it adds to your toolbox for low light situations. This expands your creative possibilities beyond the average scene.