Looking south on I-91, just north of Downtown Hartford, CT. Even at 11 pm, there is still plenty of traffic coming to and from the city. This is part of my daily commute, into the city, then out again to my home, in the country. 🙂
Not in traffic, but with traffic. And my camera 🙂
Class started today so it was dark by the time I got around to shooting, and since I was in Manchester, CT, I thought I could try shooting a busy intersection and shooting the light trails from tail/head lights. After a couple frames I changed things up. I’ve been a big fan of bokah since I first learned about it, so I flipped my lens to manual focus, and put the camera deliberately out of focus to get these shots:
43 mm, 2.5 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Unfocused Drivers)
55 mm, 2.0 sec, f/5.6, ISO 100 (Focus on the lights)
This afternoon was a rainy afternoon here in CT. And as such, everyone on the freeway decided that they couldn’t drive more than 35 mph. So I decided If I was going to crawl along at a snail’s pace, I would detour and parallel the highway on city streets. My thought was that I probably won’t lose any more time, plus I’ll get to see an area of town I normally don’t get to see. And maybe I would see something worth shooting.
But alas, the surface streets were crawling, too. It took over 30 min to less than a mile. As I’m sitting at a light I’ve watched turn green many time, I let my mind drift from my predicament and my focus locked onto the red dots in the rain drops on my wind shield. And since my camera was near by, I grabbed it and was able to improve my mood a bit 🙂
But as I continued to crawl, all I saw was red. Not anger (ok, maybe a little), but the sea of red tail lights stretched out in front of me like a slow-moving ribbon.
Many a day I’ve admired the view from I-291 as it crosses the Connecticut River; For a minute you forget you are in a heavily populated area as suburbia gives way to river and woods. But there is a point along the bridge that where you can catch a glimpse of downtown Hartford, CT, and at night or in the early morning, it is a beautiful sight!
I’ve also noticed the pedestrian portion of the bridge on the northern side, but wondered how to get to it, so using satellite photos on Yahoo maps I found the entrance on the western side. As It’s hard to get a good shot through a dirty windshield while driving in heavy traffic, I decided to park at the walk-way entrance and walk to a spot on the bridge that afforded a good view and set up my tripod w/o fear of the traffic flying by.
Since I was using a small aperture, I had a slow shutter speed to get a good exposure; this allowed me to catch the infamous CT River Ghost on film!!
A friend & initial photography mentor and I decided to do photography challenges periodically, and for this week, he chose “red.” I’ll get to choose the next challenge.
So today on my way home I was thinking what I could shoot that is red or has to do with red. And as I was sitting at a traffic light, it dawned on me that the reason I wasn’t going anywhere is because the light is red! It was a fairly long light, and the though came quickly, so I grabbed my camera and tried to capture a red light at night. The shot I like best (or am least unimpressed by) is one that I took out of focus. You can see the three stop lights and the brake lights of the car in front of me. It would have probably turned out better had I parked and set up the camera on my tripod and took my time, but that will have to wait for another day.
55 mm, 1/15 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 (Red Traffic Light)
Today you are get a special treat: 2 photos!
The one above was my planned shot for tonight, one I’ve been wanting to get for a while, now. However, since it was 14F out, and I only had a light jacket, I didn’t want to get out of the car, set up the tripod, and get a properly stabilized & exposed shot. So, this is what you get. I will re-attempt this shot once it warms up a tad (Thursday, maybe?)
So, because the first/planned shot wasn’t so great, I decided I would shoot something else. And since I was eating dinner when I discovered that my Hartford shot didn’t come out very well, I though I would try turning my camera into a “salad shooter” 😉
P.S. None of the photos on this blog are on my Facebook page, I reserve them especially for this blog (they are on my Flickr site for storage/posting, though)