Night moves

The day got past me before I got a chance to do any photography today, so I did something I’ve been wanting to try for a while now but just haven’t.  I took my camera out at night to try to get some shots.  When I used to shoot in black and white film and print on paper, I loved doing night shots.  But digital, color photography is a whole different thing when it comes to night shots.

Right away, you will probably notice that the color is problematic.  It has way too much red in it.  Yes, the sodium vapor street lamps have a reddish tint to them, but it isn’t usually this noticeable.  In this shadow shot, the red adds an interesting component and makes it even more abstract than it already is.  I like it here.

In some of the other shots, the reddish tint is much more distracting, like in this one on the right of the little tree.  What I really liked about the scene when I snapped it is that it looks like the light on the branches is almost white with just a little bit of yellow, almost as if the tree itself is made of light.  However, here it looks very red and solid, and while I still like the way the little tree stands out in the light, it is not what I want it to be.

 

In scenes where the light is directly in the photo, there is less red, so I am sure that the red is a function of the exposure time, since all of these were shot with the aperture wide open on F-4.  That makes sense, because red has a long wavelength, so it shows up more over time.  These frothy leaves have the street lamp right behind them, so they are very close to what I actually saw.

In most of the shots, there was a little extra red, which added some warmth to the scenes.  The age of this station wagon makes it look almost like a shot from the 70s (yeah, that’s actually an 80s wagon, but 70s sounds better), beginning to leach its colors out.  Those pipes look somehow friendlier with the yellowish glow.

If my neighbors ever actually look at my blog, they may be surprised to see their house here, although I am pretty sure they saw me taking this shot.  Although many of the houses in the neighborhood are a similar style, I love this tree and the way the street lamp glows on it and the house.  Their own porch lighting adds to it.  Again, the reddish tint warms and ages this scene a little, but I think in a good way.

This is that same tree from a different angle.  Here I was admiring the pool of light that collects beneath the branches.  I would really rather get this one to look like it does in person, because the light is actually much cleaner looking in person.  Obviously, I need to work on the white balance for night time shots, but I think I will have fun learning more about night photography.

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