Monday, October 04, 2010

Over the bridge to somewhere


Watching the cars go by
Laval, QC, August 2009

[Click photo to embiggen]

I'm cheating a little here. I posted a similar picture - taken just four minutes after this one - last year (see entry here). Before you report me to the blog-repeat-police, hear me out: I often wrestle with the fact that new folks drop by every day and may never see some of my favorite moments buried deeply in the archives. Yet some shoots and subjects almost beg for an occasional revisit. So forgive me if I indulge in another look at a moment that meant something to me.

That, and this is another parallel view. Score!

What gets me about this series is three things, actually:
  • I got to experience it with my son. He's been bitten by the photo bug and happily grabs the camera on occasion for some exploration of his own. I started shooting at the age he's at now (15) and creatively he's already light years ahead of where I was when I started. It's scary, in a good way, to think where he'll end up if he follows his passion.
  • We were able to see in photos what we could not see in real life. Long exposure opens a window into ethereal views - ghostly light trails and all - that simply don't exist when you take them in with the naked eye. Photography isn't always about reality, and few shots drive this home more forcefully than nighttime long exposures.
  • We recorded an ordinary bridge - plain deck, no superstructure, no unique identifying features of any kind - in a way that made it memorable to us. This unassuming hunk of concrete, asphalt and steel, mindlessly crossed by thousands of people every day, is now special to us. I like that he remembers it that way.
Your turn: Why does the night hold such appeal to us? How is it that the simple cover of darkness can turn an ordinary place into something less so?

9 comments:

The Gearheads said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Gearheads said...

The night time hides things from us. Colors, objects, even other people. It can create a feeling of romance, of anonymity, or of fear. The enjoyment of long exposure photos is to reveal some things, as you said, that we don't see. Your photo brings light in that manner, but leaves you curious what cars have passed to leave such light. There are no shadows of cars, no ghostly images, but yet we know they are there.
-Mr

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I agree w/gearheads.. Imagination runs wild when its dark.. Light/lack of light plays a big part... Sounds are heightened as well...

Karen Sather said...

Another brilliant parallel Carmi!
For me, a radiant sun, or a sunset sky filled with red and orange hues illuminated by bars of sunlight shaping crazy designs is more appealing than the night’s darkness. Although, darkness magnifies fewer objects making them simpler to view without other distractions, causing even ordinary things to stand out and have a better chance of being appreciated. :) Karen

Karen Sather said...

After reading The Gearheads I have to agree with Kalei's best friend too, The Gearheads eloquently summed night time up! But I'm still a daylight lover! :)

srp said...

Fifteen?!!!! When did he grow up? I don't remember you saying he was 15!!! OH MY!

Mustang Sally said...

It's the mystery, the lack of distractions that allows us to project our own vision into the dark and pay attention to the details of what we do see.

Jen said...

Oh, I LOVE night time photography! For me, it's a chance to play with shutter speeds and ISO settings. I love the cool air...and the quiet.

Catherine Mackie said...

The dark can result in something beautiful, such as your pic of the bridge. However, it is human nature to fear the dark 'cos of what we cannot see and things that go bump in the night. Weird that I found this blog after I just made a comparison between night and day in my latest posting. Made me rethink my attitude to the dark - but only slightly... living in a crime-ridden country as I do.