I spent six days in Nürnberg. Or more correctly: I spend six days at one of the largest toy fairs in Europe (Spielwarenmesse) presenting the award winning educational toy product from newmero to potential retailers and distributors across the world (It was a great succes by the way!). I was locked up in the fair compound from around 8 am to 6 pm not seeing daylight or getting fresh air. I saw Nürnberg primarily in the dark hours of the day and mainly from the U-Bahn, the fair and going to and from restaurants in the evening. Since the scenery and environment is very much the same it is a creative challenge when working with the camera.
Nürnberg and the creative challenge
Photographing by night or in the dusk/dark possesses several challenges…. Or actually just one major challenge: Light… or.. Lack of light. So in order to get a decently exposed photograph shutter speed has to be sufficiently low or you have to work with a high ISO. Or both in combination. These restrictions will influence your work with the camera and the results. No way around it I guess…
But… Something I like about the dark/dusk is that you do not see everything. Something will most likely be hidden, insufficiently exposed or blurred. That makes photographs harder to read immediately and the slightly mysterious character is absolutely on the positive side.
STRONG MOTIF – KEEP IT SIMPLE SWEETY
When photographing in low lighting I find myself trying to be very certain that what I focus on will stand out as a strong motifs. Of course you will not have well exposed and highly detailed photographs. Strong or clear motif I understand as very easy to see what is the main motif in the picture. Keep It Simple Sweety aka KISS; Strong leading lines, contrast in exposure or color, separation background/foreground tend to help in low lightning conditions.
Aesthetics of photography is not absolute and I do not think the storys within photographs should be absolute. I generally think of photography as an interpretation of the relation between the content of the photograph, how it is presented and why you choose to present it. Of course the photographer has a certain intention, but once photographs are out there, it will be as it will be.
So how do you approach shooting photographs at night and what is it you like about it? How does it spark your creativity.