Friday, February 1, 2013

Snow blowin' on a frigid night ...

Today's post is aimed merely to present some images I took on the spur of the moment in Garfield Park while on the walk home last night from the Garfield Park Arts Center during a blowing snow. Several recent posts have been dedicated to winter landscapes, and, yes, this can be added to that batch.

Key differences in today's post are 1) These pictures were taken at night, and 2) while hand-holding the camera using a shutter speed of 1/13 on my Canon 7D and Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L (non-IS) lens.

I didn't have my tripod with me, and I ordinarily wouldn't have tried doing this and expect any keepers, and I don't have much luck steadying a camera without image stabilization at shutter speeds slower than 1/60. But it was snowing, and I was intrigued by the effect of such a slow shutter with blowing snow. What's more, I even had the camera out of the bag still from a shoot inside the arts center moments earlier, where I'd been photographing a practice of the Garfield Shakespeare Company's spring production of Thorton Wilder's "The Matchmaker."

So everything seemed "in order" for me to give it the old college try, so I did. I gave thought momentarily to going prone on cold asphalt to steady the camera, but, well ... there was that snow and very coldness thing going on, so I stayed upright, although I did squat low for a couple shots.

In total, I grabbed only a handful of shots; it was too cold, and I hadn't dressed warmly enough to stay around to be out in that weather for long. The building you see featured in all but the last frame below is the MacAllister Center for the Performing Arts, the park's amphitheater.

Interestingly for me, the one shot that gave me the most trouble steadying the camera (to avoid blur) at 1/13 was the last one in this post, a shot of the walkway along the east side of the amphitheater. That view looks north toward the lampposts lining Conservatory Drive.

The most interesting part of that last shot -- again, to me anyway -- was that I tried five different frames to improve upon the sharpness, yet the only usable one was the first. The others, even though I thought was I doing a better job concentrating to keep the camera steady (holding my breath, not hesitating to trip the shutter when I had the shot in focus so as to avoid nervous jitters that should introduce movement, etc.), were all blurry.

I've been on a monochrome phase of late, so I present the results of last night's shoot in both color and black and white.


  1. I like the way you took each picture and showed us the "color" version; then the "b/w" version. I am a fan of b/w... The colored photos don't provide a lot of color or variety. In the b/w, my imagination can wonder and be creative... It chooses to make the theatre rustic red and moves these scenes across the ocean to a place...maybe London with Sherlock Holmes, or some sleuth-like mystery setting... I love mystery...and b/w allows for that...