Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Bit of Black Magic

When I take night time photos, I feel like I could use a bit of Magic, Black Magic.
Night time photography is so exquisite--magical, the velvety blues, black, grays with spotlights  of illumination,  faces catching a warm glow, reflections bouncing from structures creating cast shadows and ripples,
the same moon faces, from eons ago, smile down from heaven and if one is 
lucky, myriads of stars glitter away.
It isn't always easy to get a terrific shot,
despite all appropriate measures and technical know how.
I have much to learn. 
The next two weeks in Kat's class we are asked to give it our best in shooting night scenes. 

Here are a few of my night shots that bring back floods of memories from past travels.

click on photos to see larger image
Although it isn't technically night time, the sun is nearly gone and deep shadows are being cast. 
Note the pink reflections from the house dancing on the dark river and the gentleman's turban. 

The following three pictures are from dozens shot at an Indian festival. Men with deep sienna brown skin stood a top elephants, showing their fancy footwork and fetes of balance. I was jostled about like a ping pong ball by countless folks who were enjoying themselves and trying to get closer and closer to the elephants. They spoke a language I could not discern.  I, too was caught up in the frenzy of the celebration and flowed right along side them.

Unfortunately the photos are blurry. It isn't your eyes. This is the challenge of shooting in the dark with bright lights like shooting stars causing havoc with lens settings, people pushing and jostling, the impossibility to stand still to shoot a picture. Yes these are out of focus pictures BUT I will never discard them...technically they are  poor, but memory wise they are priceless as they take me right back where I stood, loving every minute of being where I knew I didn't belong but felt that I did. 
And that is one of the beauties of photography.

 The next few photos are shot in a well photographed area of Aix en Provence. Thousands have stood where I stood on ancient cobblestone streets and took in the atmosphere, congeniality, and thrill of being in a very well known travel destination.

Technically they leave a great deal to be improved on, but for me they were a thrill and it truly was as golden-lit as the photos show. A bit of a wonderland...and the ice cream was fantastic.

Note the moon hovering in the sky. 

And that is what is so beautiful about night photography; capturing the moon, stars, inky blue clouds, reflections of light and deep dark crevices and corners one does not notice in the light of day. 

Kat has graciously given us some pointers on night shooting. I intend to try them out....

 Subscribe to her newsletter and you will receive lots of information and ideas and updates on classes. 

I find that photographers are most gracious and willing to share their passions with amateurs like me.


  1. I love your description of the memories, and why you love the photos regardless of their technical qualities. I can almost feel the jostling from your words and images... :) Thanks for linking in to Exploring with a Camera!

  2. I'm going to have to check out Kat. I agree that one should keep technically imperfect photos if you like them and especially if they hold a memory. I think one can get too technical. I also love that you kept the golden-lit. I'm not a fan of changing a photo so much so that it doesn't even look like the moment you captured.


Thank you for taking your time to drop by and leave a note. Warmly, Sharon