Each time I visit Vancouver I take a walk in the evening to see the lights of Coal Harbour. This is an eight-second exposure I took using a tripod. The hotel I stay at is just left of center. To get here you have to walk around the harbour into Stanley Park and shoot back. Add to that little walk a dozen or more stops for photos and it can take hours. But time always flies when I'm having fun so I rarely notice the hour.
This is one of those cities where something is happening every weekend of the summer. On this weekend there was a big triathlon and the staging area was just across the water. Behind me was an outdoor concert taking place. All around were people out walking and like me, taking pictures. Most areas of Vancouver are safe and busy late into the evening. It has a little of that New York City energy.
I had just returned from an Alaska cruise and a few hours later I was to fly back to Florida. For me Vancouver is fresh each time I visit and, of course, completely different from Florida. That change of scenery is the kind of thing that keeps me up late at night losing track of time.
This is another long exposure at Bradenton Beach. In fact the exposure was over a minute and a half and in that time people walked in and out of the frame, only they don't show up. However this one person just stayed in place the entire time and so she was the only one that showed up. If I recall there was with a small child running in the water, splashing and generally having a good time while this lady watched. Interesting how that turned out, eh?
Long exposures are a slice of time that give us a four dimensional view of the world. When you compress time into an image this is one version of what it looks like. It brings up all kinds of interesting ideas. Imagine if you could step into a different dimension where time moves at a slower rate. Then imagine that you could look back into this dimension. Maybe this is what you'd see. Kind of like being an Ent from the Lord of The Rings and watching hobbits.
This is just one way to apply a little abstraction to the world and put it in a different perspective. Sometimes we use angles, or height or light to see things a little differently. In this case I'm using time. For me its just another way to change the perspective of a scene.
I live in an area of Florida where lightning storms are common. Growing up in California I remember the one lightning storm I ever saw. Now living here it's so common I hardly notice. However I did notice this one as I drove home from the beach last weekend.
Normally there's thunder as well but sometimes the lightning is silent. I'm not really sure why that is. Quite often the lightning will stay in the clouds rather than strike the ground. In cases like that the lightning can be so frequent that its like watching fireworks, a flash every couple of seconds. The evening I took this it was about every ten-seconds.
To capture lightning you need a tripod. Once mounted I use manual mode on my Sony. I set the shutter speed to Bulb and using the remote I open the shutter until a flash of lighting occurs and then close it. In this case the shutter was open for six-seconds.
It really is a lot of fun. It's a little like a meditation just sitting there in front of a nice scene capturing pictures of lightning.