Friday, July 10, 2009

Charlottesville Mall - Photographs and Fantasies

For a set of more Mall night shots, click here.

A doorway on Second Street, off the Downtown Mall. It may appear to be the utility entrance to a cineplex, but there is evidence that other forces and laws are in effect. I've taken a series of color night photographs of the C-Ville Mall at Night.

In fact, I never took anything other than black and white in night setting for years. I had fallen into an orthodoxy that many night photographers follow. The condensed version of that; color film can't produce "true" colors under available light in typical night situation. Almost all outdoor lighting is some odd combination of mercury vapor, or fluorescent, or one of the newer technologies. These are some of the things that drive astronomers nuts and also has made the historic McCormick Observatory less useful as a research tool. Light pollution is one of the major problems for astronomers, and also means that very few people have really seen how impressive a clear, un-light-polluted, night sky really is.

Shifting back to photography, arguing the validity of color representation in a typical night lit scene is a lost cause. Our brains make adjustments based on our almost instinctive knowledge of the daylight colors of objects. Film, or sensors in digital cameras, have their own spin, but we soon make that part of our habit of "seeing."

I find that what I get from shooting color (negative) film at night is "interesting." Sometimes a color that is technically "wrong" is a surprising discovery.
Here are a few more examples, all linked to larger versions, click here

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