BrownhillsBob's #365daysofbiking

On a bike, riding somewhere. Every day, rain or shine.

Posts tagged ‘night photography’

#365daysofbiking Explorations

October 3rd – I drove to work and rode home – sadly I chose a really, really unpleasant evening to do so. Again, drizzle and a punishing headwind – but at least the town looked beautiful in the glistening, dripping night.

I decided to quickly try the camera and the phone for a comparison.

Top, the iPhone 11 Pro Max in night mode, which since a beta firmware upgrade on Wednesday evening seems a whole bunch better. It’s not as hyperreal, but is still very strange, but beautiful I think.

My preference is still to the warmth of the Canon G5X, below, which is altogether mellower without losing detail.

Further explorations to come, I think.

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#365daysofbiking Suckback

September 30th – The first commute in darkness and bad weather of the autumn is always a shock, and this one was dreadful.

The Suck – the name for the gradually darkening, dangerous and unpleasant evening commutes up until Christmas – is a harrowing time.

A combination of bad weather, drivers unused to otherwise familiar journeys now in darkness and lack of patience make for a psychologically and physically difficult time to be on a bike.

It had taken a good ten minutes longer to grind home – and I was still a good way away. I was wet, cold and had a number of very close passes despite lights and hi-vis.

If I could just fast forward to Christmas when the light creeps back and people have settled down, that would be great cheers.

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#365daysofbiking City of ghosts

September 28th – The shopping and other errands in Lichfield took longer than anticipated and I ended up returning after dark, but it’s always nice to catch Lichfield in the dusk.

My friend was keen to practise their low light camera skills and it was truly a pleasure to try the old haunts and muses. I always love how the people in these images look almost insubstantial.

There’s a much better photo in the cathedral walk artwork but we didn’t stumble upon it – one for another night.

That old underpays – site of many an 1980s band publicity photo – is still captivating in it’s otherworldliness.

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#365daysofbiking Slightly unreal

September 23nd – Another late night at work and there was little for it but to grab a takeaway on the way home – and thin pickings on a Monday meant calling in at Walsall Wood.

The rain had been back and I managed to tuck the homeward commute in-between periods of rain.

I thought I’d give the phone a chance to display it’s prowess with it’s lauded night mode on St John’s Church, Walsall Wood.

Oh my goodness.

This is odd. I’m not sure if I like it. There’s a lot – and awful lot – of HDR there. It seems almost unnaturally sharp. But it’s visually stunning. I have no idea what to make of this at all.

Close up the quality is not great, I have to say. These images were ever destined for social media though, and I’m being way too critical.

But blimey, there’s a thing to experiment with…

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#365daysofbiking The boys with the black stuff

September 13th – A day working from home, and I didn’t get out until late, so I went to investigate the road resurfacing taking place overnight between Ogley Road and Anchor Bridge on the High Street.

These operations always make for great night photos and I find the combination of lights, busy, coordinated people, noise and huge machinery being carefully marshalled captivating.

I wasn’t disappointed. The elegance of that curve of road plantings into the tipper truck is superb, too. Felt sorry for those living nearby with the noise, though – especially the elderly folk in Knaves Court. But still, has to be done.

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#365daysofbiking Iron man

September 8th – Returning to Brownhills, I passed Morris, the Brownhills Miner, standing sentry as he has done for over a decade now.

I love Morris. I think most everyone does. It’s not the history for me so much as the technical achievement of his method of creation and the sheer skill in the metalwork.

A fine piece of art, and a tour de force of engineering for it’s creator, John McKenna.

And also, my beacon of home. This Iron Man is definitely a hometown hero.

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#365daysofbiking The night comes in

September 8th – Time at last for a ride out on a very pleasant, but distinctly autumnal Sunday afternoon. I headed for the Chase and Brocton Field, descending into Sherbrook Valley, then over to Milford for the restorative power of a Wimpy burger and chips.

On a whim, instead of heading back to Rugeley, I chose to return across the Chase up Abraham’s Valley and over the old ranges, and back through Hednesford in the gathering night.

The forest was as splendid as it always is is, and far less lonely than one would expect, with the sounds of deer, owls and other creatures scuttling around, it’s really quite busy.

A lovely ride reminding me that the nights really are closing in fast now.

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#365daysofbiking The night in my veins

September 7th – I headed over to a silent, deserted Chasewater not optimistic that I could get decent results out of the new camera.

However, having been in this position before, I thought I might sort it out and get used to the foibles of the new device.

The G5X is actually great, and I think it was mastered. Apart from the toad shots, where a bike light was used for illumination, all of the images were taken in almost total darkness by a variety of means and mode settings.

I think I’m getting used to it.

Riding back along the canal after being scared senseless by a stag crashing through the scrub at Anglesey Wharf, I nearly squished poor toad, but it obliged as a model before I popped him into the hedgerow for safety.

I love the night, it’s a lot more beautiful than people would tend to think. Nosey, unsubtle deer excepted.

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#365daysofbiking Violet ultra

September 7th – A busy day, so I slipped out late with a good opportunity to try and learn more about the Canon camera’s behaviour in low light.

This meant paying a visit to an old favourite – the brutalist portal that occurs every night in Silver Court, Brownhills when an ATM’s lights tun part of the 1960s parade of shops violet.

This still fascinates me as it’s so, well, dystopian I suppose.

An odd, hometown curiosity.

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#365daysofbiking These streets

September 1st – Hopping off the canal at Anchor Bridge before heading back into town, the sunset was plain in a cloud free sky but beautiful all the same. Looking up past Knaves Court, this part of High Street has been greatly changed in recent years, but is still broad and open and looks terrific with a good sunset.

This is my town, these are my streets and I never feel a greater sense of belonging than when it looks gorgeous in a good sunset.

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