As I’m sure you’ve heard me mention once or twice, I generally hate using a tripod. Particularly for the more detailed and abstract perspectives of architecture. But, I’ve also wanted to shoot a number of architectural locations in this abstracted way at night or dawn/dusk. Oh the conundrum, because a tripod really is a must.

So, I’m trying to push myself out of my usual comfort zone and shoot these locations that I’ve shot countless times during the day, at night. They take on a different mood. Much like shooting at different times of the day (during daylight hours, of course) or times of the year or weather conditions.

I’m sure you’ve also heard me talk about revisiting subjects because how you see them changes with the weather, light, even your mood. So, time to get over my aversion to the tripod and give the night shots a whirl.

I recently shot the Calder Flamingo at night during the October workshop, though I slacked and didn’t use my tripod. You can definitely see it in the lack of sharpness and noise in the images. No doubt I’ll be back, but just proof handholding under these conditions doesn’t cut it.

I then resort to ICM out of sheer laziness to compensate for this noise and lack of sharpness. Might as well create my own, intentional, lack of sharpness.

While I like ICM shots, they can kind of be a crutch for me. So, here’s my little pep talk to get out of that comfort zone! Push yourself, do the things that feel uncomfortable. What do you have to lose?!

Next on my list of locations is the Lincoln Park Pavilion designed by one of my favorites, Studio Gang Architects. It’s lit at night and the curves and shell take on a different mood. Here’s my first attempt at it. And the ones I’m somewhat satisfied with.

There are only a few that I converted to black & white. Obviously, the one you see above and then this next one. Overall, I prefer these in color. The contrast between the blue of the sky and the warmth of the wood just work together. But with this next shot, in particular, there was something about the grittiness in the B&W conversion I preferred.

So far, these wider shots are okay. I got progressively tighter in my compositions and think I prefer these shots over the wider ones.

The next two, in particular, are my favorites of the night. Reminiscent of canoes, don’t you think?

It was maybe not the best night to make these shots. It was really gloomy and kinda rainy so the sky wasn’t as vividly blue as it can sometimes get, I really had to tweak the sky in this last one. But I’ve been feeling a little stuck in a rut with my shooting and just needed to get out and try something new. I’m sure I’ll be back for more. Stay tuned for some other new, night locations!

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