Friday, June 01, 2012

Year of the Dragon

Painting with light
Shanghai, China
May 2012

In many respects, this is a city of light. Almost every building seems to wear some form of neon or LED embellishment. Even the tallest towers carve their place in the sky with exotic swaths of lit-up color.

And I can't shoot any of it from a moving vehicle. Because the basic limits of optics and motion make it impossible to compose and shoot with anything remotely approaching sharpness. Or even somewhat defined fuzziness. It's a photographic train wreck waiting to happen.

So I try to make friends with the blur. I set up for long exposures, and experiment time and again by waving the camera across the window, trying to grab whatever light I can, bend it in some sort of memorable way, seal it on my memory card for review later. Other passengers look at me funny. I think they think all Canadians are this odd. I smile to myself and keep shooting. Or painting. Whatever.

As you can imagine, most of the pictures that result are laughably bad, the kind of thing that looks like a first-person webcam mounted on the head of a wandering toddler. But a few of them are keepers, reminders of the night I switched gears and found a way to remember an otherwise unmemorable moment.

Your turn: The first three words that come to mind when you see this picture are...?


fredamans said...

Wonky light display... lol.. you asked.

CorvusCorax12 said...


Bob Scotney said...

Greyhound Derby

Man Named Kim said...

time to run

Anonymous said...

Waves of light