Chinese Neon

By: Gustav Hoiland

Mar 03 2010

Category: china, night light

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Aperture:f/13
Focal Length:135mm
ISO:100
Shutter:1/1 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

NIGHT COLOR

This was shot in quite an unremarkable shopping square. It had some neon lights and other illuminated businesses.  But, with a little playing around I was able to coax this shot out of the environment.  There were probably a dozen practice shots leading up to this one in which I was trying to perfect the look.  Or this might have been the first exposure of the day.  I find that the first shot I fire off is often the best of a series, though light play like this often requires some tinkering.

There’s a couple main elements that I think make this a successful shot.  The first is that building, its strange architecture ablaze with non-fiery color.  Columns of light pouring out of each window, though at different angles and intensities. Very cool effect.  That being said, I think it might actually be a big assortment of TVs… but I really can’t remember.

Secondly, the pop-outyness of the central word (BELLE), which is accentuated by the blue vertical lines at the left of it which really bring it into the foreground while also showing its recession out of the frame.  The reds also show this, but they seem more cluttered and form a solid block of color, while the blues aren’t ever too dense.

Finally, the dark blue sky above.  Even a mostly black sky can catch that navy look in a long exposure, and it really gives something lush to the image that would be absent if everything but the lights was blacked out.

See differently!

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