Tuesday, November 27, 2007

'Gainst the Dying of the Light

Your Monday Photo Shoot: Show us light in a surprising way. Long exposures, interesting reflections, the play between light and shadow -- anything that calls attention to the light itself. This is very open-ended, so I'm curious to see what you all will come up with.

I know I'm taking terrible liberties with the Dylan Thomas quote, which is about not surrendering to death. But just this once I'm going for a more literal interpretation. You don't mind, do you?

It's suddenly winter here in Tucson - what passes for winter around here, anyway. I've finally switched from air conditioning my car to heating it, and I had to wear a sweater all day at work today. Understand, I'm not complaining: winter in Tucson is why people move here in the first place, to mark December by donning sweaters instead of parkas.

More to the point, though, for purposes of the Monday Photo Shoot, we're closing in on the shortest day of the year. If I don't leave right at 5 PM - and I seldom do - then I come out into sunset, dusk or even full night as we reach the solstice. That means I've coming out of work at pretty much the perfect time to compare nature's post-sunset light show with mankind's attempts to substitute technology for sunlight. In this first shot, for example, the last light of sunset fills a big chunk of sky, dwarfing the newly lit, ineffectual streetlights. I've cropped this and cloned out a detail of horizon I don't want you do see, but I haven't adjusted the tone or saturation on this image at all.

I actually took this shot before the one above it, with the same intention, to juxtapose post-sunset light effects with the lights on the side of this building. Instead I got some of those light flares that sometimes pop up unexpectedly. The shot I took right after this didn't have them. I've enhanced this image and saturated it a little bit, and smudged the sign in the background.

This was yet another attempt to photograph the power station lit up at night. The light changed a moment too soon, and I ended up taking the photo with the car in motion. But again, here we are: the last of sunset gives way to manmade lights.

I'm not quite sure what I was attempting here. I like the total abstraction of it. Again, no edit except resizing and several passes of "sharpen lightly."

Here are two more attempts to photograph the end of the sunset at 50+ mph. I couldn't decide between these two shots, so I've ganged them together.

By the time I reach Craycroft, the only light left is manmade. I did lighten this shot, and I saturated it slightly.

In the morning is Tuffy's fourth and final radiation treatment. I can't pick her up afterward because I've been assigned to a seminar all day, and the powers that be would probably not be happy if I got back from lunch half an hour late. John's busy with a project at work, so he can't get away either. Poor Tuf will just have to hang around the vet's office until I can get there a little after 5:30 PM. I'm feeling guilty already!



MariesImages said...

NIce variety of light effects!!!

Greg Kiser said...

Great job playing with light in your pictures. Its always quite fun to think outside of the box in photography.