by Editor Yvette Depaepe
The night has been a source of inspiration for artists since ancient times, long before photography became popular. Some of Van Gogh’s most famous paintings are night scenes such as Starry Night, Starry Night Over the Rhone, Café Terrace on the Place du Forum at Night.
By the end of 1870, John Adams Whipple (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Adams_Whipple) used electric lights to take night photographs. Years later, Alfred Stieglitz (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Stieglitz) also experimented with nocturnal scenes in the streets of New York. They were some of the pioneers of what is now known as night photography.
Night photography is making tremendous progress, thanks to advancements in technology, the arrival of specialized new cameras and lenses, and the limitless creativity of photographers. Night photography can certainly be challenging, but it can produce some captivating results.
For some people the night is associated with the unknown, mystery and fear. For others, it implies solitude and peace. When one of our community members, Martin Zalba, was asked why he likes night photography, he replied: “Night photography discovers the secrets of the night. Our eyes cannot do long exposures and light (the soul of photography) gradually accumulates. It is a type of photography that has a great plastic force. We can see in the immensity of the sky as a little eternity” .. and yes he is right.
We know places play an important role in photography. It is not the same to capture a busy city at night than a beautiful landscape in an isolated nature. Martin was also very kind to share with us some tips that help him capture the beauty of the places he usually goes:
· Visit during the day the place you want to photograph at night, especially in the case of hazardous locations.
· Use signaling (stones/branches) to pinpoint the places where your can shoot the photo (at night everything changes a lot).
· Check the weather forecast.
· Carry a mobile phone or GPS and warm clothing.
· Before shooting, check all equipment and the battery charge of the camera.
· Get used to the darkness and walk carefully.
· Perform several photos of the same subject with different exposure times.
Here is a selection of beautiful captures out of the 1x gallery fitting in the category of Night Photography.