Thursday, September 09, 2010

Evening photography

click photos to enlarge
One of the tasks I periodically set myself is to take more photographs at night. However, since I moved to rural Lincolnshire I've found that is much harder than it sounds. When my home was on the Fylde Coast of Lancashire, in close proximity to the coastal towns of Blackpool, Fleetwood, Cleveleys, St Annes and Lytham, the opportunities were much greater. Blackpool, in particular, is ablaze with light at night, particularly along its miles of promenade, photographic opportunities are plentiful, and the light levels make hand-held shots relatively easy. But, in a rural village a few street lights and the glow from the windows of houses is about all the light that is available. When you live in a city, a conurbation, or a big town, it makes more sense to be out and about in the evening, and photographs can be snapped routinely. However, for the rural dweller a trip of several miles to the nearest town solely for the purposes of photography has less to commend it. Or at least that's how this photographer sees it.

Sunset, of course presents opportunities regardless of where you live. Today's photographs are a couple of shots taken in an incidental sort of way, using the camera I had with me. The second one shows (or rather doesn't show) a lane with a farmhouse and a few trees. It is, I suppose, fairly unexceptional. The first image, however, presents some issues that often surround a sunset photograph, namely "Did it really look like that?" and "Are those the actual colours you saw?" The answer to both those questions in this case is, pretty much, "Yes!" In fact, I had to take several shots, repeatedly adjusting the EV to prevent the camera from giving me a scene that was much brighter than the one I was looking at. Someone drew my attention to the fiery glow on the left, and as I took my shots the purple tinge illuminated the low clouds. Serendipity had a part to play in this image too. If I hadn't tried so hard to get the light level and colours right I wouldn't have had a shot that included the car on the road, a helpful detail that adds interest and points of light to the right of the photograph.

photographs and text (c) T. Boughen

Photo 1 (Photo 2)
Camera: Lumix LX3
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 6.8mm (32mm/35mm equiv.), (5.1mm (24mm/35mm equiv.))
F No: f2.8 (f2)
Shutter Speed: 1/125 (1/30)
ISO: 125 (320)
Exposure Compensation: -2.0 (-0.7) EV
Image Stabilisation: On