Thursday, December 2, 2010

Knights of the Round Lens.

Night.  I’ve taken a slew of night pictures, I love seeing what happens when I mess around with shutter speeds and aperture openings with little light.  When I read Carmi’s choice for this week, I immediately thought of 4 specific sets of photo’s, and picked these six from them.

The first was from out at the Bonneville Salt Flats.  In my opinion the two best times to visit the Salt Flats are at night – when there is no moon and when there is a full moon.

We went out there once on the 4th of July to set off some fireworks we got in Wyoming.  In the city and the surrounding foothills they are dangerous, the dry brush catches fire easily and the fire spreads fast.  We’ve had people lose their homes because of careless, and inconsiderate, amateur fireworks shows.  But out at the salt flats there’s nothing to burn.  Just salt, salt and more salt.  Oh, and a little bit of water popping up every there and there.  Not a huge fire hazard.  There was no moon that evening, so out there away from any lights it was pitch black.  Serious darkness.  We got about 10 feet from the cars, turned around and couldn’t see them.  Not at all.  We had to backtrack, following in our footsteps in the crusty salt to find our cars.  We needed to be far enough away that the fireworks wouldn’t hit the cars, so we had to leave the dome light on one of the cars so we would be sure to find our way back.

Later we went back when it was a full moon.  That was even eerier, it was so bright it seemed like daylight, but not normal daylight.  Like being on a different planet.  The dark mountains in the background added to this other-worldly feeling.  The first picture for you is of my 1980 Toyota Corolla out on the salt flats.  This was back in the mid-80’s, so it was taken with my old Nikon 35mm film camera.  It was taken sometime between midnight and 1 AM, and at a high enough shutter speed that the camera was hand-held, no tripod, not sitting on a rock or other car or anything.

This second picture is from sometime in 1979, night pictures was an assignment for my Photography class up at the University of Utah.  This is on what is known as “President’s Circle”, where most of the original buildings stand, possibly even from back when it was The University of Deseret.  The building at the top is the Parks Building, the main administration building for the University. Almost every Halloween my friend and I go up to the Salt Lake City Cemetery for a traditional scare-the-heck-out-of-you ritual.  We also have visited “The Haunted Old Mill” and other spooky sights in the valley.  This evening we brought my camera (the new digital SLR Nikon) and a tripod and attempted to make our own spooky pictures.  I set the shutter speed to 20 or 30 seconds, then we would run into place, sit for 10 or 15 seconds and run out of the picture.  This is the result of one of these:   This one is another picture of the Salt Lake Cemetery, but without the artificial ghosts. The last two pictures are from an October trip down to Arches National Park.  They were taken in the campground, looking up at the stars over the red rock that surrounds the site. These two you will definitely want to click on to get the full view of.  Don’t to forget to check out all the other great night pictures at:

Thanks for dropping by.


A Paperback Writer said...

Oh, look at those stars! I miss the stars here in the city with all the light pollution. I haven't been camping in the desert for so long that I've nearly forgotten what real stars look like.
I like your second cemetery pic, too.

Karen Sather said...

Wow, I'm going to post my first TP after reading my list, and after seeing these beautiful photos...hmmm....I might better get my camera out again! lol I did enjoy the Salt Flats I saw them in a movie not too long ago with Jessica Lange...she was driving her dead hubby's Bonneville to his funeral! Great post, thanks!

Mustang Sally said...

Great pictures and great stories to go with them. I love the "ghostie" shot just because, but those starlit shots are totally awesome.

Wonderful choices Max.

Twain12 said...

great picture, the graveyard pictures are not too spooky, but you wouldn't catch me there at night LOL

Aunt Snow said...

What a great variety of night shots. I love the B & W - something about a '70s era car, (does it have a flat tire or is it parked in a hole?) with the lights reflecting off the wet streets - great shot.

Max said...

Thanks all, glad you liked the pictures. Aunt Snow - no, the car didn't have a flat, it was just parked right against the curb so it looks like it.
Now I finally have the time to go check out all your photos! Good times ahead.

Carmi said...

I've SO got to raise the level of my nighttime photography game: Your pics seriously set the bar high.

1980 Toyota Corolla classic a design as there ever was. LOVE how you captured it. I think the story only adds to the magic.

[Note to self: Head out more often at night with a camera. Learn from Max's example.]

Max said...

I love the lines of the older cars, back when you could tell a Toyota from a Mazda from a Ford. As a teenager I could tell you the company that made a car from two blocks away. Now, sometimes, I have to actually see the brand emblem. And it's not just because I'm looking through 50 year old eyes these days.

Greyscale Territory said...

Fantastic magic in those starry skies and haunting earth tones below! And the cemetery shots are so luminous and fascinating! Almost ironic!