an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

night photography

No. 27

image

Walking down the alley in early autumn darkness, No. 27 showed its welcoming arc of light.

Copyright (c) 2015 Bernadette E. Kazmarski


Main Street at Twilight

Main Street at Twilight
Main Street at Twilight

Main Street at Twilight

The first block of East Main Street in Carnegie, PA at dusk.

I have no idea how my little hand-held digital metered the colors like this, but I heartily approve! Honestly, this is not touched up in any way, even though the sky looks as if I either added from another photo, I adjusted the color in that area or I just painted in another sky. The whole thing looks like a movie set.

The time of day was twilight, after the sun dropped below the horizon but still reflected on the sky and the thin overcast of clouds. I know I pointed my focus spot on the darkest area in the scene, way down at the other end of Main Street, the building that is actually on a hill in the next community, and that would have influenced the internal metering especially since the scene looks very bright although it’s only the street lights that provide illumination. I can assure you they are not that bright.

And likely the yellow lights also pushed the complementary blue of the sky a little brighter than it actually was. However it happened, I approve.

This was taken with my little Lumix point and shoot where I have very little control, but the other settings that would have influenced this outcome are two I’ve always set on these little cameras. First, I turn the stabilizer mode, which will help to eliminate blurriness in low-light conditions, to “off” because in these small cameras it simply changes the ASA setting to a higher number. This results in a photo that looks great in your view screen, but when you open it up on your computer it’s completely grainy. I use a tripod, or, as in this case, I find something to set the camera on or press it against and set the shutter for a 2-second timed delay so that everything is as still as it’s going to get when the shutter finally opens.

Second, I set the EV, or exposure value, setting two or three steps below the middle. Most cameras shoot light so that as much light as possible gets into the lens, but you also lose detail in the highlights and I find it doesn’t meter well for images with a lot of contrast, which is usually what attracts me.

So, I guess that’s how this one turned out like this.

. . . . . . .

Purchase a canvas or a print of this image

canvas print of main street

Canvas print of “Main Street at Twilight”

Canvas print

This 16″ x 32″ canvas print is beautifully printed in archival inks on artist canvas and gallery wrapped around 1″ stretchers. Sides are finished in black. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

I can also prepare a digital print in a variety of styles and sizes.

 

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Dairy Queen in the Dark

Dairy Queen in the Dark
Dairy Queen in the Dark

Dairy Queen in the Dark

I love that good old-fashioned look of the Dairy Queen, primary colors, nice clear shapes, that late-50’s slight upward angle of the roof and outward angle of the windows.

The night I took this photo it had rained and was hot and humid, and the Dairy Queen beckoned from the dark in the middle of nowhere along a deserted road. The night was dreamy enough and the road dark enough that it almost seemed the DQ was an illusion, and either I’d pull in and it would turn into something else or disappear altogether, or it was a trap, a portal to another dimension and I’d enter some dramatic scenario as in some of the stories I enjoy.

But I just enjoyed a medium vanilla with chocolate dip, really enjoyed it. It’s been a while. Maybe that’s why the DQ magically emerged.

I love photos of rainy nights and have a whole gallery of photos called “At Night in the Rain”.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Holiday Lights in the Rain

holiday lights in the rain
holiday lights in the rain

Holiday Lights in the Rain

This particular little house was once a garage to a huge Victorian home. It not only faces the alley but the narrow porch steps right onto the sunken and undulating bricks of the alley. One would think it wasn’t the choicest place to live, yet I always see children and adults around, lots of toys and talk and play; it seems to be a happy little house. I wasn’t surprised to see this complete selection of holiday decorations.

The shining bricks and puddles in the alley reflect the holiday cheer. Note the homemade Steelers emblem in the left-hand window; no display in Pittsburgh would be complete without it.

I usually associate holiday lights with snow, or at least with a clear cold night, but I also love colorful night photography and especially rainy nights.

. . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

 


Primary and Secondary Colors

building with evening lights
building with evening lights

Lights in Primary and Secondary Colors.

The traffic lights add red and green to the blue and yellow and orange of the lights in the Greyhound station in downtown Pittsburgh; the dusk adds purple to the building. All colors are present.

I took this with my smartphone, hence the extreme proportions of the building, and the crosshatches made by the lights. Usually I am frustrated by these compositional failings with my camera, but this time they were welcome.

. . . . . . .

All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


Not Quite Full, Not Quite Empty

moon in bare tree branches
moon in bare tree branches

Not Quite Full, Not Quite Empty

The not-quite-full Beaver Moon shines through the not-quite-empty wild black cherry branches on an early November night.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. 


Holiday Lights in the Rain

holiday lights in the rain
holiday lights in the rain

Holiday Lights in the Rain

This particular little house was once a garage to a huge Victorian home. It not only faces the alley but the narrow porch steps right onto the sunken and undulating bricks of the alley. One would think it wasn’t the choicest place to live, yet I always see children and adults around, lots of toys and talk and play; it seems to be a happy little house. I wasn’t surprised to see this complete selection of holiday decorations.

The shining bricks and puddles in the alley reflect the holiday cheer. Note the homemade Steelers emblem in the left-hand window; no display in Pittsburgh would be complete without it.

I usually associate holiday lights with snow, or at least with a clear cold night, but I also love colorful night photography and especially rainy nights.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Colorful Stars on Main Street

Holiday lights on Main Street.
Holiday lights on Main Street.

Holiday lights on Main Street.

Carnegie’s holiday decorations light up the street. Main Street is getting to look like this, and I can’t beat this photo, at least not yet this year.

Hmmm, how can I make a street I photograph all the time look a little different from the last year? Well, get out the cross-screen filter for starters so that each light or highlight in the images has extra interest; I like to set the cross a little off-kilter, not a plus-sign, not an “X”, but something in between. Next, use the 70-300mm zoom lens and manual focus so just the very first light and wreath are in focus and all the rest, all the wreaths all the way down Main Street to Washington Avenue, are successively blurred just a little each step of the way. Even the stop lights look festive, as noted in a holiday song. I liked the effect.

Last night as I was crouched to photograph this in a fairly dark spot on Main Street, I frightened a couple of teenage guys who apparently didn’t see me before I suddenly stood up very near to them, and the shuttle that takes residents from one of the local nursing homes on their errands stopped, opened the door and looked at me, then went on. I photographed this last year as well, and included a story of photographing where people don’t expect it, including hunching down in the dark by a wall wearing a cape and having the police stop to ask what you’re up to.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Snow at Night

photo of snowy night
photo of snowy night

Snow at Night

I love to watch it snow at night; this is the view out of my back window that overlooks the few streets down to Main Street in Carnegie. My neighbor’s house with the light all ablaze makes it look like…it may be a painting someday.

I did paint this view on a very cold winter morning a couple of years ago…“Frosty Morning, Just Before Sunrise”

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Main Street Autumn Evening

sunset on main street carnegie
sunset on main street carnegie

Main Street Autumn Sunset

This camera didn’t quite catch the tangerine sky on the horizon, but it did catch the glow of that color on the buildings, the gradated blue sky with wispy clouds, and the evening star are all there to wish us well on a quiet autumn evening on Carnegie’s Main Street.


Main Street at Twilight

main street in carnegie at twilight
main street in carnegie at twilight

Main Street at Twilight

The first block of East Main Street in Carnegie, PA at dusk.

I have no idea how my little hand-held digital metered the colors like this, but I heartily approve! Honestly, this is not touched up in any way, even though the sky looks as if I either added from another photo, I adjusted the color in that area or I just painted in another sky. The whole thing looks like a movie set.

The time of day was twilight, after the sun dropped below the horizon but still reflected on the sky and the thin overcast of clouds. I know I pointed my focus spot on the darkest area in the scene, way down at the other end of Main Street, the building that is actually on a hill in the next community, and that would have influenced the internal metering especially since the scene looks very bright although it’s only the street lights that provide illumination. I can assure you they are not that bright.

And likely the yellow lights also pushed the complementary blue of the sky a little brighter than it actually was. However it happened, I approve.

This was taken with my little Lumix point and shoot where I have very little control, but the other settings that would have influenced this outcome are two I’ve always set on these little cameras. First, I turn the stabilizer mode, which will help to eliminate blurriness in low-light conditions, to “off” because in these small cameras it simply changes the ASA setting to a higher number. This results in a photo that looks great in your view screen, but when you open it up on your computer it’s completely grainy. I use a tripod, or, as in this case, I find something to set the camera on or press it against and set the shutter for a 2-second timed delay so that everything is as still as it’s going to get when the shutter finally opens.

Second, I set the EV, or exposure value, setting two or three steps below the middle. Most cameras shoot light so that as much light as possible gets into the lens, but you also lose detail in the highlights and I find it doesn’t meter well for images with a lot of contrast, which is usually what attracts me.

So, I guess that’s how this one turned out like this.

. . . . . . .

Purchase a canvas or a print of this image

canvas print of main street

Canvas print of “Main Street at Twilight”

Canvas print

This 16″ x 32″ canvas print is beautifully printed in archival inks on artist canvas and gallery wrapped around 1″ stretchers. Sides are finished in black. You can find it in my Etsy shop.

I can also prepare a print in a variety of styles and sizes.

This photo is also available as a print in my gallery on Fine Art America.


Shine On Harvest Moon

photo of full moon
photo of full moon

Harvest Moon

Unlike other moons through the year, the Harvest Moon doesn’t always occur in a certain month but is the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox, whether before or after, even in October, called such because the extra light was welcome during harvest time in typically dry autumn conditions, perfect for harvesting fields of grain. In addition to the extra light, the moon also rises at nearly the same time every night. The moon usually rises about 50 minutes later each night, but because of the physics of the moon, sun and earth the moon rises are only about 20 minutes apart, always in the early evening so the extra light to harvest by is right after sunset and farmers could just keep working until the moon went below the horizon. Read an article in today’s Farmer’s Almanac and National Geographic for more information on the Harvest Moon.

This moon is from 2010—we are a little overcast near the horizon this evening but three years ago we were clear from edge to edge and I got the best moon photo I’ve ever gotten.


City Fountain on a Hot Night: 2010

city fountain in color at night
city fountain in color at night

Dancing in the Fountain

Families chase each other through the dancing waters of the fountain in PPG Place in downtown Pittsburgh on a hot night in the city. Changing colored lights illuminate the obelisk in the center as the water jets put on a show of their own.

For a print or other reproduction of any photo, please visit “Purchasing” for more information.


“The Jewel on the Hill” and “Spring Dusk on Main Street”

building on hill at dusk
building on hill at dusk

The Jewel on the Hill, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

Walking home through Carnegie on this date in 2005, carrying just my little 2MP digital camera that didn’t even have a zoom and a small lightweight tripod, I managed to photograph two of my favorite photos of all the photos I’ve taken, above, “The Jewel on the Hill”  and below “Carnegie at Dusk”. Though I’ve got plenty of photos to share, and even newer ones from Carnegie, today I’ll celebrate these two, two of the photos that convinced me to take another, closer look at my photography.

So we call this treasure in our town so named for its builder, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. This is actually an older photo but with a story, plus I recently installed an exhibit of photos of this facility at this facility, which is also one of my favorite places to go and which is also one of my regular customers for freelance design work. Quite a lot of connections.

Anyway, this photo is one we’ve used repeatedly as the signature image for the facility, and was a real stroke of luck and timing. I was walking home on a clear, warm spring dusk in late April, 2005, April 24 to be exact, and arrived at the bottom of Library Hill at just this moment. The sky was fading from brilliant turquoise to cobalt, the still-bare trees were etched against it in silhouette, and the grand building itself stood partially lit by the sunset but with all interior and exterior lights on, solid and stately, serving its public in its 104th year. By the time I had snapped a half dozen or so shots the light had changed completely and the moment was gone. That was part of the timing, the other part that they had only temporarily installed the foundation lighting but never used it again, and this was part of what gave the building that lovely definition against the dark hilltop. A few minutes earlier or later, the previous or following week, and this photo would never have existed. And it was taken with my first little point-and-shoot 2MP digital camera—I don’t know how it came out as clearly as it did!

Read about the exhibits and find links to slideshows of the images at “Of Harps and Fig Leaves” and “Carnegie Photographed”.

A little background on the names…in 1894 the leaders of two small communities on either side of Chartiers Creek, Mansfield and Chartiers, decided to merge in order to provide better services as one community instead of two individual administrations. Andrew Carnegie, who had owned a mill in Carnegie, had by then sold off his mills and begun spending off his worldly wealth by building libraries. These town leaders had a proposal, that he build a library and a high school for the new community and they’d name it after him. He did build the library but said they were on their own with the high school; nonetheless our town is named “Carnegie” in his honor.

He also set up the Library itself a little differently from the others he’d had built. Where others are named “(name of town) Carnegie Library” or “Carnegie Library of (name of town)” and were built with his expense but maintained by the community, this Library bears his full name and given an endowment for its maintenance. Also, more than just the Library space, a Music Hall was incorporated into the design along with a gymnasium in the full basement.

You can read all about this unique facility on its website at www.carnegiecarnegie.org. I’ll also mention that the website design is mine, and you’ll see many more of my images in the photo album.

photo of main street at night

Spring Dusk on Main Street


Pittsburgh at New Year’s

Pittsburgh at New Year's, 2008

Pittsburgh at New Year’s, 2008

It’s snowing and I’m not going to First Night, but I thought I’d post two of the photos I took of Pittsburgh, viewed from Mt. Washington, taken on New Year’s Eve a few years ago.

pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at Night

I don’t know why it’s always captivated me, but Pittsburgh at night, the modest buildings lit just right, bridges decorated with lights, all reflected on one river or another, has always been one of my favorite scenes. I took this series of photos and created a panorama on Monday night about 9:15, so many of the office buildings weren’t as well lit as they would have been earlier in the evening, but I never pass up a chance to stop on Mt. Washington to photograph the city.

This view is of “First Side”, along the Monongahela River right before it reaches the point; off to the right a little past center is the Smithfield Street Bridge, then in the darkness over the river is one bridge after another—Panhandle, Liberty, 10th Street, Birmingham, Hot Metal, then the bend where J&L Steel used to fire the night sky with an orange glow.

But even before that bend in the river, this little cluster of buildings coming to a point where a great river is born is all of downtown Pittsburgh.


Moonlit Sycamores

moon and sycamore trees
moon and sycamore trees

Moonlit Sycamores

The Cold Moon of December is not quite full but illumines the land with the cool blue of coming winter in the deep dusk of a winter evening.


Holiday Lights in the Rain

holiday lights in the rain
holiday lights in the rain

Holiday Lights in the Rain

I had a lovely photo of yesterday’s frosty morning in my back yard, but as the day grew dark early today I passed this ebullient display of holiday cheer on a dark rainy day and decided I had to share it.

This particular little house was once a garage to a huge Victorian home. It not only faces the alley but the narrow porch steps right onto the sunken and undulating bricks of the alley. One would think it wasn’t the choicest place to live, yet I always see children and adults around, lots of toys and talk and play; it seems to be a happy little house. I wasn’t surprised to see this complete selection of holiday decorations.

The shining bricks and puddles in the alley reflect the holiday cheer. Note the homemade Steelers emblem in the left-hand window; no display in Pittsburgh would be complete without it.

I usually associate holiday lights with snow, or at least with a clear cold night, but I also love colorful night photography and especially rainy nights.


Colorful Stars on Main Street

Holiday lights on Main Street.
Holiday lights on Main Street.

Holiday lights on Main Street.

Carnegie’s holiday decorations light up the street.

Hmmm, how can I make a street I photograph all the time look a little different from the last year? Well, get out the cross-screen filter for starters so that each light or highlight in the images has extra interest; I like to set the cross a little off-kilter, not a plus-sign, not an “X”, but something in between. Next, use the 70-300mm zoom lens and manual focus so just the very first light and wreath are in focus and all the rest, all the wreaths all the way down Main Street to Washington Avenue, are successively blurred just a little each step of the way. Even the stop lights look festive, as noted in a holiday song. I liked the effect.

Last night as I was crouched to photograph this in a fairly dark spot on Main Street, I frightened a couple of teenage guys who apparently didn’t see me before I suddenly stood up very near to them, and the shuttle that takes residents from one of the local nursing homes on their errands stopped, opened the door and looked at me, then went on. I photographed this last year as well, and included a story of photographing where people don’t expect it, including hunching down in the dark by a wall wearing a cape and having the police stop to ask what you’re up to.


Pittsburgh at Night, 2011

pittsburgh at night
pittsburgh at night

Pittsburgh at Night

I don’t know why it’s always captivated me, but Pittsburgh at night, the modest buildings lit just right, bridges decorated with lights, all reflected on one river or another, has always been one of my favorite scenes. I took this series of photos and created a panorama on Monday night about 9:15, so many of the office buildings weren’t as well lit as they would have been earlier in the evening, but I never pass up a chance to stop on Mt. Washington to photograph the city.

This view is of “First Side”, along the Monongahela River right before it reaches the point; off to the right a little past center is the Smithfield Street Bridge, then in the darkness over the river is one bridge after another—Panhandle, Liberty, 10th Street, Birmingham, Hot Metal, then the bend where J&L Steel used to fire the night sky with an orange glow.

But even before that bend in the river, this little cluster of buildings coming to a point where a great river is born is all of downtown Pittsburgh. See other photos I’ve taken of Pittsburgh


The Jewel on the Hill

building on hill at dusk
building on hill at dusk

The Jewel on the Hill, Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall

So we call this treasure in our town so named for its builder, the Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall. This is actually an older photo but with a story, plus I recently installed an exhibit of photos of this facility at this facility, which is also one of my favorite places to go and which is also one of my regular customers for freelance design work. Quite a lot of connections.

Anyway, this photo is one we’ve used repeatedly as the signature image for the facility, and was a real stroke of luck and timing. I was walking home on a clear, warm spring dusk in late April, 2005, April 24 to be exact, and arrived at the bottom of Library Hill at just this moment. The sky was fading from brilliant turquoise to cobalt, the still-bare trees were etched against it in silhouette, and the grand building itself stood partially lit by the sunset but with all interior and exterior lights on, solid and stately, serving its public in its 104th year. By the time I had snapped a half dozen or so shots the light had changed completely and the moment was gone. That was part of the timing, the other part that they had only temporarily installed the foundation lighting but never used it again, and this was part of what gave the building that lovely definition against the dark hilltop. A few minutes earlier or later, the previous or following week, and this photo would never have existed. And it was taken with my first little point-and-shoot 2MP digital camera—I don’t know how it came out as clearly as it did!

Read about the exhibit and see a brief slideshow of the images at “What’s New in Bernadette’s Studio?” or just visit the slideshow on my website.

A little background on the names…in 1894 the leaders of two small communities on either side of Chartiers Creek, Mansfield and Chartiers, decided to merge in order to provide better services as one community instead of two individual administrations. Andrew Carnegie, who had owned a mill in Carnegie, had by then sold off his mills and begun spending off his worldly wealth by building libraries. These town leaders had a proposal, that he build a library and a high school for the new community and they’d name it after him. He did build the library but said they were on their own with the high school; nonetheless our town is named “Carnegie” in his honor.

He also set up the Library itself a little differently from the others he’d had built. Where others are named “(name of town) Carnegie Library” or “Carnegie Library of (name of town)” and were built with his expense but maintained by the community, this Library bears his full name and given an endowment for its maintenance. Also, more than just the Library space, a Music Hall was incorporated into the design along with a gymnasium in the full basement.

You can read all about this unique facility on its website at www.carnegiecarnegie.org. I’ll also mention that the website design is mine, and you’ll see many more of my images in the photo album.


Main Street at Twilight, 2011

main street in carnegie at twilight
main street in carnegie at twilight

Main Street at Twilight

The first block of East Main Street in Carnegie, PA at dusk.

I have no idea how my little hand-held digital metered the colors like this, but I heartily approve! Honestly, this is not touched up in any way, even though the sky looks as if I either added from another photo, I adjusted the color in that area or I just painted in another sky. The whole thing looks like a movie set.

The time of day was twilight, after the sun dropped below the horizon but still reflected on the sky and the thin overcast of clouds. I know I pointed my focus spot on the darkest area in the scene, way down at the other end of Main Street, the building that is actually on a hill in the next community, and that would have influenced the internal metering especially since the scene looks very bright although it’s only the street lights that provide illumination. I can assure you they are not that bright.

And likely the yellow lights also pushed the complementary blue of the sky a little brighter than it actually was. However it happened, I approve.

This was taken with my little Lumix point and shoot where I have very little control, but the other settings that would have influenced this outcome are two I’ve always set on these little cameras. First, I turn the stabilizer mode, which will help to eliminate blurriness in low-light conditions, to “off” because in these small cameras it simply changes the ASA setting to a higher number. This results in a photo that looks great in your view screen, but when you open it up on your computer it’s completely grainy. I use a tripod, or, as in this case, I find something to set the camera on or press it against and set the shutter for a 2-second timed delay so that everything is as still as it’s going to get when the shutter finally opens.

Second, I set the EV, or exposure value, setting two or three steps below the middle. Most cameras shoot light so that as much light as possible gets into the lens, but you also lose detail in the highlights and I find it doesn’t meter well for images with a lot of contrast, which is usually what attracts me.

So, I guess that’s how this one turned out like this.

This photo is available as a print in my gallery on Fine Art America. I can also prepare a print in a variety of styles and sizes.


Roberto Clemente Bridge, 2011

roberto clemente bridge, pittsburgh

The Roberto Clemente Bridge, Pittsburgh

I took a little drive through Pittsburgh this evening at dusk, and while I didn’t take this photo this evening, what I saw reminded me of it, the gold of one of Pittsburgh’s bridges, the deep blue of the evening sky reflected on the gentle ripples of the river, the lights dancing. I thought it would be nice to share.

This is the Roberto Clemente Bridge, the former Sixth Street Bridge crossing the Allegheny River from Downtown Pittsburgh to the North Side right next to PNC Park. It was lit on this night because there was a game at the field.

It’s the first of the “three sisters bridges”, the next being the Andy Warhol Bridge and then the Rachel Carson Bridge—sisters in spirit, perhaps. You can see the stone piers and a little of the bridge decks and suspension wires beyond this one. I’m kind of proud that these three bridges are named for these three people.


Summer Festivals, 2009

A Date at the Fair

A Date at the Fair

Those old-fashioned street fairs are fun in the daytime, rides turning in the heat of August, too much cotton candy and pop taking their toll…but for all their fun in the day, they are magical at night, the lighted rides turning against a starry sky, the attractions an oasis of colorful neon and incandescent in the midst of an inky darkness of streets, then just as suddenly as it sprung from nothing in a parking lot, it’s gone, leaving only darkness and cool September nights.

In this photo, a couple on a date wanders toward the rides.

From back in my first year of photo blogging! This event is coming up again, and I hope they have the rides for great night photos.


The Duchess at Night

The Duchess

This is the Duchess, one of the boats of the Gateway Clipper Fleet in Pittsburgh. As I was leaving an event the other night, there she was, reflected in water behind the dock, near the shore where the surface ripples are gentle and fairly large. Those yellow party lights give it a carnival atmosphere and gently light objects around the boat.

There was a very bright spotlight on the top deck, though, and it not only threw off my light metering, but it was so bright that it was distorted and hazy and reflected too brightly on the surface of the water. No matter how I tried to tame it down, it would have no taming, being painfully bright even when I looked at it in my view screen on the back of the camera.

So I edged over until it was behind the docking station and pressed my camera against the uprights of the little walkway that carried us over the channel behind the dock, and there was this photo.

Night photography is a favorite of mine. The contrast of bright and colored lights against the darkness is so visually appealing, and the patterns of light and dark change a familiar landscape into an entirely new world.

Just add water and you have another element to add to the illusion, reflections distorted and broken apart by even the slightest movement in the water.