Assignment: City Lights
“Find a location that offers a variety of colored lights, such as street furniture, shops, restaurants, and offices. Choose somewhere safe to walk around so that you can concentrate on capturing the brilliance of city lights.”
— from Digital Photography Masterclass by Tom Ang
For this assignment, my goal was to take photos in the “magic evening hour” (the hour before sunset), and in the dark of night, in a city environment, and notice the effect of varying camera settings, exposures, perspectives, and viewpoints.
I almost talked myself out of venturing into “bustling downtown Naperville” on a soggy January Saturday night, initially not too hopeful due to the uninteresting gray sky light just before sunset. However, as darkness ensued, I began to “see the light” (pun intended) and the benefits of the dark.
Darkness (and the right ISO and aperture settings) allowed for longer exposures, allowing blurring, zooming, seeing light where it is hidden.
Darkness focused the eye on what light there was, allowing seeing things not noticed before in daylight.
Darkness and wet pavements created backlit landscapes where the sun could not.
Darkness allowed underexposing and darkening out the parts of the frame I did not want to record, to emphasize the parts I did.
Below are 8 more images that show some of these concepts. Enjoy, especially the last one of ducks whose meditation is being interfered with by a crazy night-wandering photographer!
Keeping my word to myself, continuing these Masterclass assignments — even if it looks like the weather is not up to my “expectations” — is bringing me lots of unexpected FUN! And with the miraculous warm weather (46 degrees) to keep my fingers from freezing, and the shimmering wet pavements and puddles to bring out reflections — it’s as if the universe is conspiring to make me HAPPY! Who knew?