Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2011 WEEK 34 Pt. II: False Creek

Motivated by my success at Vanier Park and despite it being long past Midnight, I headed East along False Creek to Sutcliffe Park.

Here's a wonderful view across False Creek towards Yaletown.

Other than a very subtle tweak of the contrast settings the above is as it was straight out of the camera. Here's the same view but favoring a much bluer temperature setting. Personally I like both of them.

As noted in Part I, there's a wonderful sense of suspense and surprise shooting long exposure night photography. The world of the city at night is a magical place - shadows, colours, textures exist that are not present at any other time. There are also unexpected moments around every corner where one never knows how an image will turn out.

Take these next photos for example...

It's like a scene from a film noir! Now, you might be wondering how I got mist highlighted by the cone of light on such a clear summer night... Well, it is water vapour, but it is not fog. Here's another view:

Throughout this particular area of the park sprinklers were quietly watering the grass. Their proximity was just close enough to the edge of the seawall as to cast clouds of moisture drifting by. The streaks seen in the left side of the cone of light are the water droplets raining down and captured by the long exposure time.

Night photography really makes one aware of how wide a colour spectrum we have in our cities. With a few tweaks of exposure and some nifty post-processing, it's possible to capture surreal images like this one:

Night photography can also play havoc in terms of lens flares, especially when shooting with such a wide lens (the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5). In the photo above, I was forced to stand right on the edge of frame with the remote switch fully extended so I could use myself as a human flag and protect the lens from flaring.

Urban spaces at night have a wonderful atmosphere to them. I love finding places usually bubbling with activity and capturing them in peaceful sleep.

These final two photos really highlight the happy accidents of being in the right place at the right time...

Uh-oh... Someone call the fire department!

Don't worry... No property was damaged here as it is in fact a combination of elements highlighted (literally!) by the long exposure time. What looks like a building on fire is actually the sodium lights of the sports field's dressing room facilities twisted and distorted by yet more sprinklers!

Risking a total wet-down of myself and camera, here's another view.

The above shot really captures the effect of mixed lighting sources, from the orange sodium lights to the much cooler, whiter halogens at the edge of the sports field which brought out the green of the grass. There's something surreal and other-worldly about this photo that I love.

Stay tuned for Part III tomorrow and some awesome pictures around Olympic Village!