Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark

For the past couple of months we have been traveling a bit to some very cool cities where the night time defines the character.
And when that happens, you want to capture it as you’ve experienced it.
Jill Waterman, a photographer and educator based in NYC, has published a book called Night and Low Light Photography that helps explain it all.

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As told from the perspective of 30 different photographers, the book is laid out in a very easy to consume format with sections on Equipment, Lighting Techniques, Weather, Night time subjects, The Color of Night, and more.
A lot of the info comes at you in a page or two, so once you’ve gone through the basic overview sections, you can flip through and perhaps see what images catch your fancy. You’ll get the advice from a pro on achieving that look, in a straightforward manner.
There was an image from Chip Forelli, that we use as a screen saver, that is included and it was very cool to at least know how he shot it.

Most of the shooters are working with film, and you’ll get the full shot specs on most of the images included here.
We think that you’ll be able to adjust most of the info for digital though.

Night shooting is putting not only the ISO sensitivity of the DSLR’s on trial, but even the more sophisticated point and shoots that give you a pretty decent range of manual control. And honestly, when the light gets low, and you’re going out, there is a good chance that you’re carrying one of your smaller cameras, like a Canon G10, a Nikon P6000, or even a Lumix, many of which give you a manual range of controls. So on the tripod front, maybe one of the small pups like the Giottos we featured here, should be in your kit. Although we have used a lamp post to steady the camera on occasion.
But if you want to get this stuff for real, get ready to pack the good stuff; glass, bodies, and a big boy tripod like we said, and maybe some coffee. It’s gets chilly out there. And take a stealth camera bag into the night. Just a suggestion.

There is one bone to pick with this book, though. The folks who designed the type color seemed to not always be in sync with the rest of the book. The resultant few instances are real tough to read as the words blends with the background.

We first got into this book out of need. Crappy night time shots that always disappointed. Seriously. This collection let us know what we were doing wrong and how to do it better. That’s all we ask for.

Overall, we were rewarded with a lot of solid tips to getting some of those night shots of these cityscapes we spoke about, and a slight prodding to hang out after dark a little bit more with the daytime rig.

It’s a buy recco from us, as its one of the photographic categories we all deal with at some point, but need some solid info. At about $20. USD, it’s a sweet deal.
Jill Waterman did it right here.

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  • Getty Center
  • Convergences: Selected photographs from the Permanent Collection
  • July 8th-Oct.19th, 2014
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
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