We all need something to do to help us unwind. I've never had a dog to take for a walk, been into fishing or one for watching mainstream TV (apart from Hong Kong Phooey). It is fair to say that standing alone in the middle of a muddy field at night, looking through the viewfinder of a camera perched on a tripod trying to bring distant trees into focus might not be everyone's idea of paradise - but it is for me.
As an obsessive street photographer, the last twenty years of working 9 til 5, week in week out, has been very frustrating - so I got into the habit of jumping on a train after work and finding interesting subjects (to me at least) to photograph at night. Usually the subject is a floodlit football ground (please see my Electric Skylines gallery) but I've come across other things to photograph in the dark along the way.
Eventually, I branched out to taking photos at night on my rare trips abroad. There is something mysterious about night photography. You never quite know how the photograph will turn out. The British social documentary photographer Paul Reas once said that when you take long exposure photographs, ambient light tends to creep around corners. That fascinates me. Night photography for me is like one long experiment.
For any technically minded photographers out there, most of the pictures in this collection were 30 second exposures shot on an aperture of f22, with an ISO of 100 to 400. In recent years, I have been using a Canon EOS 5 Mk2 digital camera when I shoot at night, perched on a sturdy Manfrotto tripod. I think that smart phone camera technology has advanced to the point of making interesting night photography possible in all conditions too. I would urge anyone to give it a go if you haven't already.
|Click here to see the photographs