All posts tagged traffic

… 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)

Warning sign to not walk in front of a car

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

I have a good number of signs in my collection. From normal, to serious, to funny, informative, to… well… what would you call this?
The Chinese (this was shot in Hong Kong) are either morbidly sarcastic, ingenious, or then… this was just a very unfortunate fluke.

I’d say the sign means that in this area there’s a good chance you’ll be run over by a car, and IF you were to survive the hit and you’re down on the ground spitting blood in the last takes of breath you have, you’re kindly informed that the end is nigh without having to go through the trouble of reading it upside down.
And have a good day.

There are funny signs all over the world. I’ve collected a good number of them over time. The warning sign for Slow Turkeys Crossing (I wonder if there are also Fast Turkeys crossing the street anywhere, but I’ll not get that discussion going) was only one of them. In any case… The Grand Lake area in any case also has Slow Children. That’s documented:

Warning sign for slow children

D800, ISO400, 1/1000 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

And Colorado Springs has the following combination, which I found rather funny (not the deaf and blind children of course, although the sign is somewhat… well… in your face, but the combination of the two):

Warning sign for deaf and blind children

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

Equally funny is the combination of signs in the following picture:

Deer crossing

D800, ISO100, 1/500 sec @ f/5.6, Nikkor 50mm

And there were still a good number of more signs, funny or not, that I didn’t have in my collection.
But the one that stole the prize… Really… I mean… REALLY!!! The one that stole the prize was this one:

Sign warning for Bigfoot crossing the street

D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/8, Nikkor 50mm

I get it… In a country like the United States of America you have to make sure you’re covered against any possible law suit by people who are trying to squeeze money out of the most impossible things. But seriously.
I do believe the possibility of a creature like “Bigfoot” existing. As I do believe that there’s something swimming around in Lochness. Smoke… fire… too many sightings of the things to be just a fable.
But you’re just making a total fool out of yourself by putting that text under the sign. There’s no explaining text under any wildlife sign. I’ve seen horse signs, deer signs, bighorn signs, moose signs, deaf and blind children signs, slow children signs, slow turkey signs… In other countries I’ve seen duck signs, owl signs, beaver signs, otter signs… No explanation needed. And then this…
Owwell… It gave us a good laugh (and some hilarious pictures after that 😀 ).


D800, ISO100, 1/250 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm

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

I guess you can say I’ve gotten myself into the night photography stuff a bit. I know the pictures with the light trails are pretty much as cliché as clichés come, but I always try to look at it from… well… a different angle 😀
I’ve tried that with the images you’ve found here that I took from the window of my apartment. I’ve tried that with for example the dead badger (talking about different angles, if any 😉 although that wasn’t really about the light trails, I had completely different intentions with that one). And I’ve shot a few mushrooms with light trails in the background, so I guess in many ways I’ve managed to get it a bit un-cliché.

My aim is always to not go stand on a straight road. Not to shoot at that “normal” angle. That would be plain boring. I usually try to find a point of view or a location where several roads collide. And then it usually still takes some post-processing, because I think it’s virtually impossible to get light trails to actually visibly cross in one exposure of say 10-30 seconds.


D700, ISO200, 10 sec @ f/22, Nikkor 14-24mm

I mentioned before… I think I also mentioned in one of them that I was waiting for some blue lights from ambulances or fire trucks. Well, I got my wish. At least partly. Usually they always speed by, which would give a nice blue stripe in the picture, but now they were all gathering across the street here.
An extra bonus was that there was a tram coming out of this street, which it usually never does.

And again it’s a whole different world…


D700, ISO200, 20 sec @ f/11, Nikkor 50mm. Bits and pieces put together from six different images in Photoshop.

(In the mean time this is growing into a nice little collection. Exhibition material maybe?).

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