Night Vision

Some night photography.

When I was in college, I dated a guy who was studying photography. Back in those days, we used film cameras and processed our own black and white film, then used enlargers in darkrooms to create prints. (I still have a black and white enlarger from a darkroom I had in my New Jersey home years ago.) It was a pain in the butt, but the resulting images were interesting and artistic.

Anyway, my photographer boyfriend had an assignment called “Lights at Night.” He went out at night with his camera and photographed various lighted objects. My favorite was an ice storage building. The image remains in my mind all these years later.

I’ve always wanted to do some night photography, but until recently, I didn’t have a decent camera to experiment with. Sure, I’ve had SLRs in the past, but I had no desire to process my own film and it seemed too costly to experiment with film anyway. But I recently got a digital SLR — a Nikon D80 — and with some time on my hands during my current trip and a tripod handy, I decided to give it a whirl.

Here are a few images. I’m not saying they’re any good, but I do think some of them are interesting. I’d love to get your comments on them; use the Comments link or form at the bottom of this post to share your thoughts. Go easy on me, though.

Bright Angel Lodge Back Patio

Bright Angel Lodge at NightThis photo is of the patio between the Bright Angel Lodge’s main building and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim at the Grand Canyon.

What I like most about this photo is the loneliness of it all. During the day, this patio is jam-packed with tourists. But last night, on the way back to my room from dinner, it was completely deserted. The gift shop was still open, but no one was around. I liked the way the light made the area glow.

Bright Angel Lodge Cabin

Bright Angel Cabin at NightThis is the entrance to two of the cabin rooms at Bright Angel Lodge at the Grand Canyon. The cabins are small buildings, each of which house two or four guest rooms. They’re located right on the rim and some of them even have views into the Grand Canyon.

This building looked particularly cosy and inviting on a cool autumn evening. I could imagine guests inside, cosy in bed with a book or magazine. (More likely, they were watching television.) The photo reminds me of Christmas.

Lookout Studio

Lookout Studio at NightLookout Studio is perched on the rim of the Grand Canyon. I’m not quite sure of its original purpose at the canyon, but it now houses a gift shop that seems to specialize in t-shirts, rocks, and postcards. It has a wonderful balcony and a series of lower terraces.

I love the look of this building during the day, but it also looks special at night. The blue door and window frames are especially appealing.

Wahweap Marina

Wahweap Marina at NightI took this photo from the balcony of my room at the Lake Powell Resort. The marina is in the foreground; the Navajo Power Plant is in the background, almost floating in the blackness of the empty desert around it.

The marina is filled with privately owned houseboats and other pleasure boats. It’s a huge marina and most slips are currently filled.

Navajo Power Plant

Navajo Power Plant at NightHere’s a close-up of the power plant. I used a 210 mm lens to get a this shot of the plant, which is about four to five miles from here.

What’s neat about the power plant in both photos is that you can see the emissions from two of its smokestacks. Before sunset, those emissions were clearly visible in the otherwise clear sky as a horizontal line of brownish haze. Ick.

Fuel Station at Wahweap Marina

Boat Fueling Station at NightThis is a boat dock with a fueling station at the Wahweap Marina. It looked cool from my room and even better in the photo.

Unfortunately, the focus is not as sharp as I’d like to see in this shot. I think it’s because it’s a floating fuel dock and the exposure was pretty long — at least 10 seconds. But it could have been a bad focusing job on the part of my camera or me, too.

4 thoughts on “Night Vision

  1. I think your night pictures are interesting. You don’t look like you are starting at square on to me. I think you should continue as long as you enjoy it, and post a few occasionally so your readers can see your progress.

  2. I’m not a photographer. I think your photos are great (like all your photos). I think you are an amazing woman, especially because you are a pilot (I’m afraid of high :) ). I stumbled your blog when I start my blog, searching some troubleshooting on goole, and finding the answer from your blog. I’ve added to my 13 Blogs from the beginning. Congratulation for all your work!

  3. Really really enjoyed the night photos. They were all the places I remember from many hikes in the Canyon and boat trips to Lake Powell. In fact, I am inspired to book a room on the Canyon edge during the upcoming Christmas holiday. It will be our 25th anniv. and cool to go back there. Thanks!

  4. Nick, we spent last Christmas Eve at the Canyon. Had dinner in that little private room off the entrance to the restaurant of El Tovar. A little party of 6. It really made the evening special.

    The canyon is pretty quiet at Christmas time. I highly recommend it to folks who want to experience it without the crowds. But bring your coats! It gets mighty cold in December, especially at night with a wind blowing.