Being busy is great! The tendency, however, can be to put things on the back burner.

It always feels so good to get one of those “back buner” items taken care of, especially when it gets me out to do some shooting! A friend of mine, Taylor(@Taylormade888) has been wanting to delve deeper into the world of image-making and recently snagged himself a snazzy new Canon, his first camera. He expressed interest in photographing his prize-winning Bordeaux litter, and also nighttime urban photography. I figured I’d help him with the latter, which I may know the first thing about, and hopefully, the skills translate to the former. I wish you the best in photographing your show dogs, TayTay.

First we headed down to Sloans Lake just after sunset. I tried in this setting to teach him the basics of exposure (Shutter Speed, Aperture, Sensitivity) and how those three components form a trilogy which adds up to overall “exposure value”, and quickly realized the setting and timing just weren’t right. The dark is not the ideal meeting place for, frankly, day one of Digital 1.

It’s really difficult to teach others sometimes. And it has nothing to do with the student, Taylor was there and ready to absorb any and all information.

I just didn’t choose the right time-- standing in the dark trying to explain something fairly technical isn’t the best idea. We shot the lake as the sun was peacing out, and I was just trying to explain the difference between f/4 and f/16 when we, frankly, ran out of light.

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Not wanting to waste time, however, we both agreed we should definitely go night shooting. I had a location scouted out-- a bridge over I-25 here in Denver, which I thought would be a nice setting, showcasing some leading lines via a curve in the Interstate and a prominent view of our skyline (a subject, I believe I’ve written before, I am not yet convinced I’ve found a great vantage point of, to date).

We arrived and to my delight, there was a pedestrian sidewalk going along said bridge. I’d only viewed the bridge from the Interstate below.

There were a few holes cut into the chain-link fence acting as a barricade along the sidewalk. I’ve seen some other nighttime photographers using these holes in the chain link (and I’m sure they, like me, found them there and didn’t do anything unscrupulous like cut the holes themselves) to frame a shot. Major stoke!

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I showed Taylor some of my secrets for capturing light-trails, and was able to assist him in getting his camera set up to do so: more believably than I was in explaining the points of exposure value earlier, in the dark. He caught on quickly, you can view some of his interpretations on his Instagram page.

Before wrapping up the shoot I decided to take two different images to form a composite. “Clear Dimensions” is an ode to the fast-paced city life, and how we need to narrow our focus, looking forward, in order to take inventory and accomplish our goals.

Clear Dimensions

Thanks for reading, everyone!

Feel free to leave comments below, shop for prints, or just cruise through the galleries. I’ll check in soon.

  • taylor reid

    on July 27, 2019

    I appreciate all the knowledge shared. I had a great time! I'd say learning like that worked out just fine. I learned that night I'd like to take pics of more than just the dogues! As for your shots, fantastic. I can feel the interpretation in Clear Dimensions.

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