After dark

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010 at 11:19 pm

The judging at the camera club didn’t run as smoothly as it normally does due to a last minute replacement for the judge. Fortunately the replacement, at 36 hours notice, was excellent.

As I prefer, there was a set topic for this month’s competition: after dark. ie taken between sunset and the sunrise on the following day. Predictably most of the entries were of the city at night. The judge picked up on this as a larger issue in that to have your image stand out, you can’t take the same shot that everyone else takes, you need to obtain a different perspective.

At a recent outing to Albert Park lake we were shooting shots of the city. Nice shots, but nothing special:


Another common comment from the judge was in regard to the sky. A black sky will result in the city lights blowing out due to the high contrast. While a sky with light will both reduce the contrast of the city lights, it can also add interest with colour. The sky in my image above still has colour and texture from the clouds which makes the buildings stand out.

When I first heard his comments about the sky the expectations for my other images lowered as I knew they had a black or a very dark sky as in this image from the development near the Exhibition Centre on the Yarra:


This image was awarded a highly commended despire the dark sky. There isn’t that much of the sky in the shot, the leading lines from the boxes and decking, and the zigzag of the lights provide enough interest.

My two digital entries have pitch black skies. Yet they were both awarded merits.

One night after Perl Mongers I stopped by the Shrine to take some night shots. The shot I entered was taken square on to the Shrine and from low to the ground. Afterward I changed it to monochrome and increased the contrast to bring out the texture in the stonework.


Although it is a common shot, the judge liked the strength of the shape, which is why having a black sky in this case works.

My second digital entry was a slight rework of a shot I took in Brisbane the night before OSDC last year which the judge liked as it wasn’t the typical side-on shot.

On edge

First I tried cropping out the distracting detail at the bottom, but the wheel looked too short and the supports wrong. So I decided to keep the detail, but the window to the office was off centre which made the whole image look a bit off centre. I moved the window across to better balance the image.

Next month is again an open topic, so the images I have submitted are a bit of an experiment. I shall find out if the experiments worked in a month’s time.

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