Archive for the ‘night’ Category

In the Dark with All the Pretty Lights

Wednesday, August 20th, 2008


I woke up at 3AM this morning, and couldn’t get back to sleep. I went through my morning ablutions, and pounded the “j” key through my feeds in google reader, and reviewed new posts to my flickr groups since I’d gone to bed. That left me with whole hours to kill before I could plausibly catch a bus to work.

This would have been a great time to have an all-night (or at least open early) eatery, but, bizarrely, there’s almost nothing in the way of food and caffeine in walking distance that opens until, like, 6:30AM. I live a block away from a gigantic university — where are these kids going at 4:00AM to satisfy their munches?

Well, whatever. I ignored my lack of food and caffeine and set about making some images. Then, when Peet’s finally opened at 6:30, I set about starting the editing process, while I still had the somewhat manic mindset. In my sleep-deprived state, I got pretty experimental, in two main areas — specular highlights (I don’t normally set out with them in mind) and a rejection of realistic white balance. Some of the results were quite interesting.

Descending Angel

This is probably my favorite of the group. I like the symbolism, both of the cruciform/angelic inverted figure and also of the sulphur-yellow-and-scorched colors of the carport. I particularly like all of that when embodied in that most mundane of all vehicular storage areas.

Keep The Fire Burning

This is the First Church of Christ, Scientist. It’s an awesome, wonderful building, that looks less like a Christian church than it does like Elrond’s townhouse. I’ve seldom had much luck photographing it, probably mostly because I have crappy instincts when it comes to architectural photography. This shot doesn’t highlight the bizarre design motifs of the building, but relies instead on light and shadow and leading lines — photographic fundamentals.


I don’t entirely know whether or not I like this image. It is a good example of an image dominated by specular highlights (something I’d been meaning to create on purpose, rather than by accident, following a thread in the D40/xD60 club group. And beyond that, it’s also an interesting image in terms of the positioning of the tip of the vine inside the specular highlight — a nifty effect, which makes for a surreal image that has a certain appeal. But it does not fall within what Minor White referred to as the “thin red line of uniqueness to the man,” meaning that it doesn’t seem like an image of mine.


This image, made after the sun had started attempting to rise through the mist and clouds, feel more like my own, although I could not tell you why. It was made through a fogged window toward part of a string of lights, which were not on, with other lights, which were on, in the background, contributing an oddly streaky set of specular highlights.

35mm f/1.4 AIS Before Dawn – a set on Flickr