Sunday, October 26, 2014

When night falls–Thematic Photographic.

I love taking pictures in low light.  You can’t just point and shoot, not if you want to capture the colors of a sunset or the detail in the evening.  It takes a lot of planning, practice and trial and error.  Especially before the digital age, when you had to wait to see the results.

The sunset above is not digitally enhanced, that’s just the way I took the picture back in 1980.  I had to use the light meter on the camera as a guide and adjust the aperture and shutter speed to the best of my knowledge.  I wouldn’t be sure I had captured what I wanted until week later, when the photographs were developed by the local photo shop. 

Even with black and white photography it took some planning.  Would you get so much light that everything came out looking blurry, or not enough light so you wouldn’t see any detail.  How much detail did you want.  The picture above is of “The Aves” in salt Lake City.  The picture below was taken at the University of Utah, an assignment for my Photography class there.  I don’t know who that car belongs to, but it was just like the first car I owned.

And sometimes, by accident, you get something completely abstract, something that you didn’t expect. 

In today’s digital photography world, it is a lot easier.  Not that it still doesn’t take planning and trial and error, but in that you can see the results immediately.  That gives you the power to adjust right then and there, you don’t go away wondering if you caught what you wanted to.  Not to mention the number of pictures you can take is only limited by the size of your flash drive, the cost is the same if you take 1 picture or 1,000.

That’s Saltair, out on the Great Salt Lake.  I wanted to get a picture with the sun shining through the windows.   Thanks to my digital camera, I was able to see the first picture, realize I was too far to the left so I moved to the right and got the shot.

We also have the ability to enhance the pictures when we get home.  Yes, I could do that with film, as I developed the pictures in my darkroom, but there was no “undo” button and if I didn’t get it exactly right I just wasted some expensive paper.  The picture above is not digitally enhanced, the one below I adjusted the brightness and contrast.

About 5 years before I got into high school, there was a fire that almost burned Saltair to the ground.  I heard a lot about it and we would go out there at dusk for the eerie atmosphere.  In this picture I wanted the light from the sunset coming through the windows to look like what it might have looked like during the fire of 1970.

Click the link at the top to see more night fall pictures.


Karen S. said...

Max you have the best talent ever at shooting just right. The photos of Saltair (did I spell that right) you'll know the ones I mean, just incredible captures!

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

I wouldn’t be sure I had captured what I wanted until week later, when the photographs were developed by the local photo shop.

I remember those days, Max. I used to have rolls I didn't even develop, because money. But I liked taking pictures!

Great shots.

Max Sartin said...

Karen - thanks :)

Thunder - I'm with you on that. I would spend what money I had on rolls of film, shoot pictures and then hold onto them until I had some extra cash and could get them developed. Sometimes it would be months before I saw what I had shot.

Alexia said...

This is a great collection, Max - all interesting in their own way. Of them all, the one I like above all is the last one - the perfect moment captured.

Lisa Shafer said...

You do an amazing job with this kind of shot. I stand in awe.