Believe it or not, I visited three sites to practice night photography last night. You can read about my Union Square experiments in yesterday’s post; here are two more.
First, San Francisco’s East Coast, about a quarter mile north of the San Francisco Giants’ ballpark. All of these consist of 30-second exposures, but I converted copies into black & white in iPhoto because San Francisco has always presented a great environment for noir literature and film. The Bay Bridge:
…and an ordinary pier with a sailboat.
In both cases, it seems that the pictures (especially the pier and sailboat) improved upon conversion. Even though the Giants have reached the playoffs, this city doesn’t turn all that orange at night. The blurred effect on the water caused by the long exposure seems better suited for the black-and-white; paradoxically, the sharp details of the boat and pier seem to benefit from the conversion.
But something about a dingy old SRO (single room occupancy, shower and toilet down the hall) hotel with a missing letter in its name seems much better in monotone. This is the Hot l Civic Center, on Market Street near Gough. The first is a 1/10 second exposure with minimal editing, the second lasted 30 seconds, and then I went wild in iPhoto in an attempt to go for an eerie look. Check out what I did to the streetlights.
Another difficult but fun Challenge; looking forward to Friday’s assignment.
Vonn Scott Bair