LIGHT FROM THE NIGHT: Behind the camera
My interest in nighttime photography is a combination of my engineering background and scientific curiosity. A high school photography class, taught by Bill Lane, introduced me to the science behind photographic images. I learned that rather than requiring the artistic skills of a painter, the art of photography revolved around the understanding and control of exposure, depth of field, composure, and other technical variables associated with the camera, film and developing process. This understand inspired my curiosity and imagination.
Shortly after gaining a basic understanding of the art, I experimented with the NikoMat FT 35mm film camera photographing in low light conditions using black and white film. these early photos were not exceptional, but they were successful enough to inspire further experimentation in the future.
In 2001, over a decade later, I picked up the camera again. I was eager to attempt to capture the motion of the stars in the night sky. After experimenting on two different nights in Meredith, NH, the results from that role of film amazed and inspired me to continue shooting. Since then, the camera has traveled with me on numerous business and pleasure trips to locations around the World.
At this time, I consider myself a nighttime photography hobbyist and these images are successful results from numerous experiments; part science and part art in how the events are exposed on the film.
Originally, the photos were captured using the fully manual Nikomat FT camera, which my father purchased prior to my birth. Being entirely manual, long exposures are shot with the “bulb” setting and a locking shutter release. Most of the photos were captured with a 28mm lens. typically I used Fuji Superior 400 ISO Film. The film images were transferred with a high resolution scanner by a local camera shop that has since closed down (Cameras Inc). I still use this camera for exposures lasting longer than 10 minutes, but admit it takes months to go through a roll of 24 shots.
Since late 2007, a majority of the images have captured digitally by a Nikon D80 and more recently a Nikon D7000. Though I have embraced digital photographic technology, I introduce very minimal enhancements of the digital images.
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