I was looking through my “extras” file of photos taken over the summer and this night shot of the Washington County Fair gave me a good laugh. Not much else to say, other than dig the sneakers making a cameo on the lower left and his expression is rather priceless given the circumstances.
“Wherever there is light, one can photograph.” – Alfred Steiglitz
“A ninja knows where he is going, just saying.” – Friend
During the winter here in Oregon the days are short and the nights are long, so if you live in a place like this you might as well learn how to photograph at night. I used to go out randomly with my camera and tweet something along the lines of, “Night Photog Ninja”. As in, I’m on the prowl looking for good night photography spots.
I rarely knew where I was going at first. There was an idea about what part of town I wanted to be in but nothing specific. I’d just drive and if I saw something that looked good or like a challenge, then I’d set up and shoot away. Back then it was more intuitive. I was less concerned with immediately getting the correct aperture, exposure time, or meter reading. I’d shoot, squint at the LCD screen in the dark, and then make adjustments from there. Combine this with cold fingertips, cold breath, the prospect of rain, and the randomness of it and it was a fun adventure.
These two photos were shot on the same night. The fog was perfect but clear above the glassy water. The timing was luck but the composition hoped for and delivered.
How about you? What night photos of yours would you share?
The Washington County Fair this weekend was an opportunity for me to capture some fun night photos using only available light. It seemed like a challenge to do it with only hand-held shots and if possible, to use a 55mm focal length or somewhere near it.
I used my press pass to soothe the nerves people might feel when they see me walking around with a DSLR. I’d say it worked. People were relaxed and themselves, which is my favorite form of environmental portraiture or candid photography. Others wanted to pose, including a hilarious and spontaneous photo-bomb from a Washington County Sheriff Deputy.
My focus, however, was on capturing the various lights of the carnival rides and people behaving naturally in a setting such as this.
I love the first photo you see here because of the color and symmetry of the balloons. Also, the look on her face is priceless to me. The second shot of the giant slide was a stroke of good fortune. He was behind her most of the way down and at the last bump they were even as they entered the light. It’s good old fashioned fun for the two of them and I felt lucky to be there with my camera.
There are plenty of sunset photos and there are many long exposure night shots of moving traffic. But how often are the two combined at sunset? This was shot on a rural dead end road right next to Highway 26 near Helvetia, Oregon. The goal was depth-of-field if I could get it and the unpredictability of the lights you see. I metered for the sky and ground, set the exposure at somewhere in between.