Fill ‘er up

You’re gonna think me strange, or at the very least, stranger. 🙂

On my way home from a couple of cold ones with a buddy this evening, I passed an empty gas station on Kingston Rd. and with but a glance I knew I had to get back and get a night shot of it. I figured I’d return at some point down the road, but since it’s above zero right now and the weather is great, I went back out and took a bunch of photographs. This is the first. It’s still so new the image hasn’t had time to dry. 😉

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13 Responses to Fill ‘er up

  1. uncoveringyou says:

    you are GOOD! this has an eerie feel to it…you’ve hit it bang on!

  2. davecandoit says:

    What is this, Differing night in Canada! 🙂 First Tracy doesn’t like the people falling out of my leaning office towers… 🙂

    Kidding. Yeah, between the two I like this one best too. I tried the black & white one, but it wasn’t strong enough for my tastes.

    • uncoveringyou says:

      dare I ask about people falling out of towers……

      • davecandoit says:

        Tracy commented that she HATED my angled photo of the downtown sky scrapers (see the one a few posts below?) and that she could image people falling out of the windows of the leaning towers. What she doesn’t know is I had the decency to wait until they’d all fallen out before I took the picture.

        (just kidding with the “hated” part)

  3. uncoveringyou says:

    LOL ohhhh i saw that pic…saw no confused – thanks for clearing that one up 😀

  4. Jan smith says:

    I like your night shots. I need to take more but I haven’t figured out what settings to use on
    my Canon. Sigh!

    • davecandoit says:

      Thanks Jan. I have very little control over my camera so I have to make do with what I’ve got. I set the sensitivity to ISO 80 and the play with shutter speeds until I get the right amount of light. I lock the ISO very low because my camera can’t handle higher ISO settings, and in auto the camera might choose an ISO setting that introduces lots of unwanted noise. The downside to a low ISO setting is that in order to get the right amount of light on the sensor I have to leave the shutter open longer, which means I have to use a tripod. My camera, at ISO 80, seems to work best at night with a shutter speed of a 1/2 second. 1/4 second isn’t enough and 1 second allows too much light. I only have four shutter speeds to play with.

      I usually leave the white balance on auto, but last night started playing with it and found that the halogen setting seemed to work best. At night, auto tends to give me a really yellowish/red light that I find a bit unappealing. In the photo above you can see how white the light is, probably even more so than in reality. This is a bit subjective, of course. You might like a bit of warmth to your shots.

      With a camera like yours (one that can handle higher ISO settings), you have more options. For one, by setting your camera to a higher ISO, you can shoot with a faster shutter speed; fast enough, in fact, that you might get away without a tripod at night (assuming you’re shooting with a lens that has built-in image stabilization; that 50 mm prime you’ve got doesn’t have it). The tripod is best, mind you, but it’s a pain in the arse to lug around.

      The best way to figure out night photography is to choose a subject, like my gas station above, and shoot numerous photos of it, at various ISO settings and shutter speeds. When reviewing the photos later on your computer, check the EXIF information and from that you’ll know what worked best. Keep in mind that the best setting for the gas station won’t be the best for another subject or scene. You’ll have to practice with a variety of lighting situations until you instinctively know what setting work best for each shot, based on available lighting. I’m still learning.

      As for flash at night, I almost never use it. There are rare cases where the subject is far enough away that the flash will add just a little bit of extra lighting, so little in fact that most people wouldn’t even know the flash was fired. Like ISO and shutter speeds, this is also something that will come naturally with practice.

      Sorry for the long rambling reply. Hope this helps.

      P.S. I just picked up a very highly rated book called Understanding Exposure, by Bryan Peterson. I haven’t started it yet, but it looks like an excellent book for those just starting out, like myself.

  5. milkayphoto says:

    Geesh, give a guy a little constructive crit and next thing you know, my name’s gettin’ a bad rap!

    I really like this shot. It looks like the opening scene to one of those teen horror movies.

    Plot: Teens are out for a night of partying when the truck they are driving hits something in the road, banging up their right front tire. No spare in the trunk but they remember spotting an old gas station a little ways back so they start hiking up the road. Little do they know the place is owned by a freaky old man and his wierd son and folks have a way of ‘disappearing’ in these here parts….

  6. lynnwiles says:

    I do so like your lonely night shots of telephone booths and gas stations. It would be nice to see them all together.

    • davecandoit says:

      Maybe one day I’ll make a coffee table book of night shots of phone booths and gas stations! 🙂 It’ll sell millions!!! 🙂 Okay, maybe not, but my Dad will buy one at least. 😉

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