Saturday, February 7, 2009

Street Scene at Dusk

Click image to view at 800 pixels wide

The performance of digital cameras never ceases to amaze me, the way they can adjust and compensate for all sorts of conditions -- harsh light, soft light, too much, too little, direct, diffuse... They do electronically what the old 'variable response' filmstocks used to do chemically, and they do it more efficiently. This would have been an unremarkable photograph if taken in full daylight, but what elevates it above a simple travel snap is the fact it's close enough to the end of day for the streetlights to be on. The latitude of the camera is enough to register fine details (on only a 2mp frame!) and expose the general scene as well as the lights. An element of luck was involved, as both the car and pedestrian are far enough from the POV at the moment of shutter release for their motion to be slow enough to not streak all over the frame. That would have been artistic, sure, but this is natural. The location was New Quay Rd., Whitby, North Yorkshire, in late November, 2006 (note the Christmas decorations already up). Enhancements for publication include a little sharpening, and the usual minor tweaks to brightness, contrast and colour saturation. Fuji FinePix S5600, automatic. Image by Mike.

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