The series is not complete, but I have at least 8 shot to show. It’s a break from my black and white nocturnes made possible by a bit of work on my editing skills. I’ve never been fond of the orange tones cast by tungsten city lights. I finally found a way to edit them out without losing the cold, urban, eerie feel I look after in my nocturnes.
A note for gearheads, two of those pics have been taken with a Leica M8, a supposedly outdated camera allegedly incapable of any decent night shot. I think the M8 is stilla good choice for someone wanting to give a go to a digital rangefinder without selling his kids. May be I’ll write a blog on that topic, because there are one or two things to know before buying one of those.
Among towers, Strasbourg, January 2013.
As some of you may have noticed, I’m working on a new “lightroom recipe” for my color night shots. I’ve tried real life tungsten-orange cast first, but I wasn’t convinced. So I’m now trying to figure out something more “urban”.
I’m rather pleased with the first results: they convey the sense of bizarre and the eerie mood I was looking after in my black and white series. And they are definitely colder and darker than the yellow-orange tones given by tungsten city lights.
And you, what do you think?
Nocturne, Strasbourg, November 2012.
I still struggle to find a proper style for my color nocturnes. I don’t like the orange and yellowish cast of city’s lights. That’s why I almost always go with the Monochrom for my night strolls - even when I go with the M9, I know that I end up converting most of mys hots in black and white.
On that night, back from work, I really found the foggy orange light incredible. I had to shoot it in colors. I’ve waited for bikes or scooters to shoot, ran in the middle of the zebra cross and tried to frame, focus and shoot fast enough, as I didn’t want the character to be too far.
That was not that easy as I had to deal with slow shutter speeds to avoid pushing isos above 1250 (in b&w 1600 is not a problem, in color it becomes way too grainy).
For once, I had a 35mm and that was a good thing, with a 50mm, because of the thinner depth of field, the scooter would have probably been blurred. With a 35mm, the result is as sharp as you can get with a 1/30 s. shot and a moving object.