All posts tagged street

… dark.
In many ways.
Sometimes I stop and think how things in the absence of light look so much more… uncomfortable. It wouldn’t even cross your mind during the day when everything’s brightly lit, but when the light disappears, immediately the atmosphere changes.


D800, ISO3200, 1/125 sec @ f/2.8, Nikkor 50mm


D800, ISO200, 1/4 sec @ f/4, Nikkor 50mm (handheld)

It caught my eye the very first time we passed these signs.
Two signs following each other, both warning for wildlife crossing the street.
The combination of these two in such short proximity leaves you wondering. It did me, in any case. I found it strangely hilarious. But then again… My sense of humor is at times strange.

Anyway… Be warned if you come along this stretch of road, it’s between Tampere and Jyväskylä in Finland, just after you come off the motorway after Tampere.
There’s possibility of some wild life crossing the street 😀

Traffic sign warning for crossing wildlife

D800, ISO100, 1/125 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 70-200mm

As a photographer you know that “light” is one of the most essential variables in anything you do.
Living in a country as Finland, and especially in winter, you see funky things happen with light whenever there’s snow around. It may be in the middle of the night, and pitch black, but with a nice pack of snow, it could almost be twilight, because the snow reflects every bit of light.
It’s the same with both natural light and artificial light.

Yesterday I shot a picture of the street down here in daylight, the sky so overcast that it was a perfectly white massive softbox, good for nice and neutral colors.

This morning I set up the camera again, but earlier. It was still (or again) overcast, but there was the shade of this 15 minutes of civil twilight, where everything turns blue for a short while. It was just before 9am when I took the first shots, with the street lights still burning. It’s funny how the street lights seem to absorb all natural light and throw off this funky orange hue.
Below first the colors as the camera recorded it (slightly accentuated from the RAW file) and on second what I turned it into (because I like it better when it looks a bit warmer 😉 ).


D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND, 5 images combined in Photoshop


D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND, 5 images combined in Photoshop

But then, I actually didn’t know this was going to happen beforehand, the street lights switched off. It was in the  middle of one of the 30 second exposures when that happened, so in that particular image (not posted here) you can actually see the after-glow of the street lights. That image ended up somewhat underexposed (salvageable, but not really interesting), but the following exposures gave a nice example of how big an influence the light, its color and the color of the environment influences the image you take.

Below again first the image with the colors as the camera recorded it, and the next one adjusted to how we “know” a snowy scene is supposed to look.


D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND, 4 images combined in Photoshop


D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND, 4 images combined in Photoshop

A few months ago I posted a picture taken from the window of my new apartment. It’s really an excellent place to overview what’s going on “in the world below”.
Now that winter’s finally set in, and we’ve got some snow on the ground, it changes everything. The place is the same, but it looks like it’s a completely different world.

I’ll let the picture speak for itself (starting to think there may be an interesting series in this…):


D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND filter, three exposures combined in Photoshop

They’re a pain in the arse. Especially when you’re in them. But sometimes, when you’re NOT in them, and you have a nice overview of what’s going on, a traffic jam can be a very inspiring thing. When you’re a photographer, at least.

Traffic jam

D700, ISO200, 30 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm, Singh-Ray VariND filter

The cool thing is that you can take a whole series of shots and they all turn out differently. And then you can combine stuff. Take a car from here, a tram from there, some tail lights from a third, etc. etc. And “minor” details like a biker and/or pedestrian from a few others to set the mood.

Now all I’m waiting for is ambulances, fire trucks and police cars to race by so I also get some blue lights in there still. Since that happens pretty much on a daily basis, it’s just a matter of time.
To be continued…? 😉

The way you usually want to see it, but not always (or always not) when you’re a photographer, unless you have something from a different angle in mind. Big bright ball of fire up in the sky, screwing up your exposures and your contrast.
There are going pictures around on the net all the time where photographers are creative with what nature offers them. I found my own little thing the other day when I was out and about with the camera at hand.
Since here in Finland things don’t really get dark anymore around this time, at least not during the times that one is supposed to consciously live it, the street lights don’t go on anymore.
But with a little bit of help from that big ball up in the sky you can make any light switch on 🙂

Street light

D700, ISO200, 1/3000 sec @ f/13, Nikkor 50mm