As going out each night to capture light while using long exposures seems to be getting easier. zI quickly find myself wanting to experiment more as the results are impressing me less and less. Part of it might have to do with my wife insisting on accompanying me and getting a bit cranky over the time I spend. By now, I’m pretty sure she’s tired of me saying “One more and we’re done.” With that said, she’s been a great assistant. Below are a couple of images I captured just outside our lobby door.With my camera mounted on a tripod I had it set on full manual, including manual focus. My ISO was 100 f22 at ’30 second intervals.
Headed downstairs tonight to take care of some unfinished business. During the day this parking lot is filled with a combination of parked vehicles and ones coming off Rainier Ave. South in search of a good parking spot and some groceries. As I continue to shoot in manual mode, I’ve gotten back to explore my cameras many features to get as creative as possible.
If it were up to me, I’d be out there taking most of my images after or around dusk or just before dawn. They are, for me and I’m sure many others, the best times of the day. And while, through practice and understanding, I came to love long exposures and shooting in manual mode. While for may, the times of day mentioned are usually set aside for family or getting ready for a days work. It only makes those moments more special when you can slip away or coax a loved one away from their own down time to join you. On my second night I trade the balcony for the parking lot of our local bank. With my wife insisting on tagging along and knowing he lack of patience when it comes to certain things. I made and checked all my camera setting before we left. The images below were shot at 100 ISO F22 at ’30 second intervals.
As a attempt to maintain some or my remaining sanity and quell some of the boredom that has me counting the same commercials that air several times nightly within one half hour cycle of television. I find myself spending less and less time wondering why I own a TV and searching and finding more creative ways to spend my free time. Aside from keeping a chart to keep track of my activities, or lack there of. I’ve been doing a lot of writing, listening to music and delving into the growing list books I have yet to finish. Mosat importantly, I’ve decided to dust of my camera and return to my love of night scapes and long exposures. I took these two from my balcony Monday, just after midnight. (Oh, isn’t that officially Tuesday?) Regardless, I’ll most likely continue stepping out at night to take a few long exposures. Only time will tell.
We were returning from a rather long drive from … when I asked my wife if we could take a slight detour towards downtown Seattle’s Pioneer Square area to watch the sun set, When discussing some rather important issues while enjoying some rather light hearted activities during the day.
Though we originally hoped to buy a condo in Pioneer Square, a tour of the neighborhood, it’s homeless encampments and the missions just a block from what would become our doorstep were a rather harsh reality we weren’t willing to invest in. Add to it the looks better in pictures condos we toured and we almost immediately started looking elsewhere.
Short story long, we found a parking spot close to the ferry and found some great spots to take pictures. There are few things I enjoy more than night photography and chasing sunsets. I’ve been hoping to capture a few sunrises, but during the times I’ve been able to catch them, I have been without my camera. Maybe soon. Until then.
Before moving to Seattle’s Columbia City. I had been living in a corporate apartment with the two suitcases of clothing and necessities I had brought from New Jersey . And while that three months offered me the chance at the minimalist lifestyle I had craved for years. Over time, I began to miss some of the things I had in storage. As strange as it might seem, being reunited with my tripod became a reoccurring train of thought.
So with after a week of unpacking an prioritizing what goes where. I grabbed that tripod, shook off the dust and headed downstairs to Rainier Ave. South. With tripod in hand and my sites on the oncoming traffic. I sprinted across the street and perched myself somewhere between Washington Federal and Ark Lodge Cinema and played around in manual mode. Below are several of the shots I took with my lens open at 30 second intervals. In the coming days, weeks and so on. I hope to work on my long exposures and nigtscapes. I’m looking forward to getting away from the TV and taking in some of that fresh night air.
When I left the home last night. I thought I had it all covered. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Camera with battery and card? Check. Tripod? Check. Off I went, as I drove to my nearby destination. After I parked and unloaded my vehicle. I realized that something was missing. Searching both my car trunk and my fading memory, I realized I left the tripods.release plate on the kitchen table. Disappointed yet undaunted, I tried to make the best of it. I found a nearby stoop to keep the camera steady while the shutter remained open. I took two shots, this being my favorite, before heading home in search of the missing piece. Surprisingly, the two images I did take came out pretty damn good.
Every night I try to make it a point to go for a walk with my camera and enjoy the combination of fresh air and the soft light of the setting sun. Being that my favorite times to capture light take place at dawn and dusk. My window of time to capture those moments is rather short. Being unable to function without a shower and a couple of cups of coffee serve to further limit my experience photographing the sunrise. So until I find that magic pill that gets me to my destination by 5:00am. I’ll happily settle for chasing the sun down and enjoying those all to rare quiet moments. “Sorry Kay, I’m going to be late for dinner again.”
As the sun began to set, I grabbed my camera and headed downstairs for a relaxing moment up on the closure. Since moving here, I’ve grown so comfortable with exploring some of the off limits areas of my surroundings. So much so, that I imagined myself bringing a chair and a cooler up to their to watch the traffic go by as the sun sets. While construction on the Pulaski Skyway has been going on long before we moved here. As of this week, it’s intensified to include work that often extends to the morning hours. Quickly, I’ve come to realize that my backyard paradise might soon come to an end. Thinking back, not so long ago, when I first walked up that ramp. The anxiousness, my gelatin legs and that lack of balance I felt. It’s hard to imagine how comfortable I’ve become up there. While as my first trips had me wondering how soon the flashing lights would be upon me or if those circling helicopters were reporting on my whereabouts. I’ve become more and more at ease there. So imagine my surprise when I didn’t hear the truck rolling up on me until it was just inches away. My first thought was “Thank God, it’s not the Police.” That truck just happened to belong to someone with the construction team. Perhaps a foreman. “You know this is off limits and you are trespassing.” He was firm but not like most of the very angry and confrontational people I’ve come across in the past. I apologized, showed him some I.D. and explained how I couldn’t help but be enticed by the beauty of the sunset. I promised to leave, thanked him for understanding and promised not to return. I’m going to miss taking my trips up there, but I feel lucky to have had the chance to get some memorable photos from it. In the meantime, I have my sights set on some new areas to explore and photograph. I can’t wait to get started. Until then. Be good, be safe, be mindful.
Shortly after the new year, we had an official Christmas dinner at my Dad’s place in Staten Island. Though we usually drive in when visiting. A early trip to Chinatown for dim sum meant we had to take the Ferry instead. Having lived on the Island for two years in my early twenties. I had taken my share of pictures from the deck of the ferry. As we returned that night I figured I’d take a few shots from the deck. Being that it had been nearly twenty years since I regularly took the ferry. It only seemed fit. Though it’s safe to say, night photography is not one of my strong suit. The night sky and it’s varied colors and textures more than welcome my untrained lens. So as we grew closer to the Manhattan side of our ride. I took my shots. Low and behold, they weren’t all that bad. It reminded me how I always enjoyed my ride home from The World Trade Center and Cantor Fitzgerald. How on a few occasions I was able to catch the warm sun setting over the Statue of Liberty. It was a nice moment. One that I was glad to have been able to share with my wife.