Sunday, September 26, 2010

Supercrawl Streetscape (September 25, 2010)

I went out to the Hamilton Supercrawl last night with friends, and took quite a few pictures--I was really enjoying the new camera's capacity to take pictures in the dark. I had taken quite a few of them with black and white in mind rather than colour, and I thought I would post some of the ones I converted.

Supercrawl is the larger manifestation of Hamilton's monthly James Street North Art Crawl, an event held on the second Friday of every month.

I liked the autumnal look of this picture (above). It's actually a shot of two friends walking ahead of the rest of the group. Inside that tent (at right) were many delights including clothing, jewelry, second-hand books, artworks, and cupcakes and coffee.

All the galleries along James Street North have their doors open wide.

The evening was very well attended. At 9:30pm the street was still busy and the coffee shops, bars and galleries were packed.

I like shooting pictures at night because you can't quite tell what the camera will do, how much it will "capture" and how--it reminds me of the way glazes behave at very high firing temperatures (though perhaps a bit more predictable!). I also like then having the photos in black and white, because there's a shift in one's entire perception of the image. Different things stand out, certain elements are reduced or less differentiated while others become more central and/or acceptable as elements of the composition, like the blurs in the pictures above and below.

Aside from unexpected smudges, I enjoy the fuzzed, intense look that streetlamps and other light sources take on when exposed for longer periods--and the strange shifts of focus that occur as the camera tries to make sense of the extreme visual conditions.

The picture above is one of those shots that for some reason really appeals to me, though I can't figure out exactly why--something compositional, and related to the focus on the two people in the left-hand, middle third of the frame.

Apparently Supercrawl attracted 20,000+ visitors this year, running from 1pm to 11pm with several chunks of James Street North fenced off from the usual vehicular traffic. It's great to see this kind of event bringing such a lively turnout to Hamilton's downtown.

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