Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Night and Low-Light Photography

This has been a busy summer for night photography books. First, Troy Paiva's long-awaited second book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration comes out. Next, Jill Waterman's new book Night and Low-Light Photography was released early this month. The subtitle "Professional techniques from experts for artistic and commercial success" sums it up quite well, although they could also add "includes lots of beautiful photographs".

As the Introduction says,

In Night & Low Light Photography, author Jill Waterman looks at the work of 30 top professionals, examining their real-life projects as well as their tips, techniques, and unique approaches.

The result is a beautiful yet practical compendium covering every aspect of night and low-light photography–digital and film capture in all formats, color and black & white, commercial and fine art. The moon and stars, weather conditions, atmospheric effects, cityscapes, industrial light, night events, night landscapes.

All this and more is presented in a lavishly illustrated, one-volume resource–an indispensable guide for those seeking insight, inspiration and provocation in making pictures at night.

Well, that certainly sounds better than anything I could have written. I'm especially proud to have been included in the thirty photographers whose work and techniques have been included in this great book (shameless self-promotion #1). If you're familiar with night photography, you'll probably recognize many of the contributors to this book; which includes Tim Baskerville, Tom Paiva, Lance Keimig, Troy Paiva, Steve Harper and many others. In fact, you can also hear many of those photographers speak about their work in my documentary film on night photography (shameless self-promotion #2).

(Warming Hut, by Andy Frazer)

There is a comprehensive website with more information about this book, including contributors' portfolios, a featured artist, and blog.

Published by Amphoto Books, the book is 208 high-quality pages of great reading and looking. You can buy your copy right now from Amazon, or many other locations.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fort Ord: There Go The TOADS

The decommissioned US Army base of Fort Ord has been a popular site for Northern California night photographers for the past few years. Fort Ord was also included in Troy Paiva's recent book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. The 3300 acres has been in a mixed state of neglect and redevelopment (with the developers usually winning) ever since I first ventured there two years ago.

(7th Division Light Fighters, by Andy Frazer)

Earlier this week the US Army completed the final transfer of jurisdiction of the land over to the Fort Ord Reuse Authority. This means that redevelopment of the remaining TOADS (Temporary, Obsolete, Abandoned or Derelect Structures) is going to move forward quickly.

(Photo by Basim Jaber)

KQED has a podcast interview with the Lia Mettee-McCutchon, Fearless Leader of the Fort Ord Reuse Authority, discussing the implications of this change of authority (sorry, there's no detailed list of which buildings will get demolished when).

Coincidentally, just last weekend some Bay Area night photographers (including Joe Reifer and Steve Anderson and Troy Paiva) descended upon Fort Ord during the August full moon.

(Recling, by Joe Reifer)

Here are few other notable NP's of Fort Ord:

(Observation Tower, by Steve Anderson)

(Cyclops, by Troy Paiva)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Juan Alberto Barria... and more news

Juan Alberto Barria took this dramatic shot in Rosario, Argentina of the Rosario Victoria Bridge.

(Rosario de Noche, by Juan Alberto Barria)

Urban night photographs taken in fog often have an eery, noir look. I imagine the reason we don't see a lot of foggy night photographs is that few people want to be out shooting in that sort of weather. That's too bad, because it produces worthwhile photographs. One of the interesting aspects of this photograph is that it appears to have been taken from a boat in the water (it wasn't). Somehow, this makes it more intriguing to the viewer.

Other NPy News... I'm working on a review of Troy Paiva's second book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration. I hope to post it by the end of the week.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Night Photography/Light Painting Workshop

Troy Paiva, better known to many as Lost America, and Joe Reifer, are offering a workshop on night photography and light painting at the Pearsonville Junkyard October 11th and 12th. This is not a hop-the-fence event. Troy and Joe have secured permission to shoot this junkyard. The workshop will be based in Ridgecrest, CA, about 15 miles from the junkyard.

("Long on the Roof", by Troy Paiva)

You can read more about this workshop on Joe Reifer's blog, or Troy's FlickrStream. I imagine that Troy will also bring along signed copies of his latest book Night Vision: The Art of Urban Exploration.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Stephen Freskos

Stephen Freskos (who goes by the Flickr name freeside510), along with Bay Area night photographer Scott Haefner, recently photographed an unidentified, abandoned rocket test facility one night on the outskirts of the San Francisco Bay Area. I think the abstract shapes (that you can only find in military-related facilities) look great in the shot below. It reminds me of the scenes from War of the Worlds when the Martians send those long "snooper" probes into the basement to look for Earthlings.

(Appendage, by Stephen Freskos)

Stephen has always been drawn to secretive and old places, and has been visiting abandonments and off-limits places since he was 13 years old. His fascination with graffiti has taken him to roof tops, drains and abandoned buildings all over the states and some foreign

Stephen says, "I realized how much beautiful and unique stuff I was seeing in these places and finally combined my exploration with my latent photography urges. Now every weekend I'm shooting and going to further and further lengths and occasional legal risks to photograph abandoned places."

Friday, August 01, 2008

"Darkness, Darkness" shots

Flickr user AntyDiluvian has posted some shots of the "Darkness, Darkness" exhibit's new home at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center (Boston, MA, USA). Unfortunately, the show is only open to the general public during specific time slots when curated by Lance Keimig (it's not unfortunate that Lance is the curator, on the contrary, but it is unfortunate that there are only limited time slots for public viewing).

(Photo by AntyDiluvian)

As the photographer explains, "If you're at the BCEC on business (attending a convention, for example), you can see this exhibit any time between now and August 31, 2008, when it closes. If you're not here on business, you can only see it on the night of Thursday, August 28, from 5-9 pm."