Wednesday, July 28, 2010

McMaster at Night (July 23, 2010)

I thought I might quickly post some pictures I took last Friday night while travelling home from the LACUS conference at McMaster. I'm having fun with the new camera and its light-sensitivity in dark situations.

I missed most of an attractive sunset because I was sitting inside, but caught the dregs of it in a few pictures (above, looking towards the Burke Science Building; and below, a closer shot of some of the trees in the centre of the first picture). It was actually darker than it looks to have been, but the camera has a tendency to maximise whatever light is available, so I may create some custom settings for these kinds of situations. Over-exposure changes the quality and colour of the light.

I like playing with night-time shots, particularly those that look interesting because only a fragment of something is visible due to the extremes of light and shade (usually from an artificial light source, but I'm a fan of the moon and of candle-light as well). Above is a picture of one of the lamps across from the bus stop by the Divinity College; I was quite happy with the way the branches were illuminated and then fade into nothing. Below is a shot of the Mills Memorial (social sciences and humanities) library, or rather the outline created by the light pouring through the windows of the "learning commons".

Above: a McMaster student (probably) waits for the #5 bus to downtown Hamilton, by the Divinity College. At this time on a Friday night (about 9:30pm), buses don't run as frequently. I was lucky that one arrived not long after I got to the bus stop. Below: I quite liked this picture of the outside of the McMaster Art Gallery (the Student Centre is in the background), the way the lit part of the frame forms a kind of diamond shape with the four round bright lights balanced by the horizontal and vertical weights of the stairs and the windows on the front of the gallery building.

The last picture, below, is taken not at McMaster but on James Street South as I walked towards the GO Train station. Hamilton has some nice-looking churches, and though I didn't catch the name of this one, it is easy enough to spot in daylight. In this photo I used the streetlamp like a sun, allowing its rays to bleed into the other part of the frame and giving the appearance of the lamp lighting up the church spire. Which of course it wasn't doing--there are lights on/below the church itself--but the lamp did cast its light on the tree, which is actually in the foreground of the picture and not up against the spire. All in all it's quite the optical illusion; the more I look, the more deceptive it becomes.

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