Thursday, November 2, 2017

Night shots

When I was in school for my Photography degree, I needed to decide on a topic for an assignment.  I started out taking photos of alleyways at night, but things progressed into other urban areas.  Below is a selection of photos from that project, plus others I took during school.  One of the weeks, we were told to use color film and I included a couple of those.  And yes, every photo here was originally shot on film, as you will read below.  

I included the words I wrote for the presentation of my project to my classmates in the Spring of 2002 (below the photos) with some minor updates and references.  

"Take Time for the Night"
by Zach Tucker

The night reminds people of sleep, rest, getting home to family, and cuddling up with a good book. For me, night reminds me of going out to look at stars, cooler weather, awesome light, and some really great photography. 

I went to different towns within DuPage County (Illinois) to do the project. Most of the shots were taken around 9:30 at night, but got later as the spring days lengthened. I wanted to keep with urban settings since we all, in general, do not take time to recognize the beauty of night in our own backyards. We mostly want to get home and relax after a long day at work, school, or whatever. Since the sun is below the horizon, we do not pay as much attention to the shadows, but we watch for oncoming headlights or stop lights or other trafficky things.

My original idea of doing alleys at night took an obvious change as things progressed. You can only shoot different alleyways so many times. In response, I broadened my subject to urban night shots, so I did not restrict my creativity. I used exposures from about one second to about one minute with 35mm black-and-white and color negative film. 

I felt a better sense of what night means to me and how to enjoy it more. There is a certain beauty of the light at night. There is a certain mood that each of the artificial light sets gives us.  There is a certain way everyone feels with the night. 

If there is anything that I want others to get out of my work, it would be to notice the beauty that the artificial light (or lack of light) brings to familiar scenes.  

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Solar Eclipse on 21 August 2017

A variety of emotions went through my head in the previous days and weeks before the big event.  Seeing a once, maybe twice, in a lifetime event.  One million extra people visiting the state of Oregon.  Needing to get up well before dawn and driving at least an hour (possibly up to 8 hours one way).  Will it be cloudy or rainy or clear.  Will the entire family be around to witness it. Will I find the right tripod and use the correct camera settings. What will happen around us when the sun gets covered up.  Will I get the one shot that I want!  

On the day of the event, not everything was as we wanted, but the weather cooperated and I was able to get some amazing shots.  With my brother's help, those of us with cameras made sure to take the time to observe things during the 2 minutes of totality and to not just look through our cameras.  Totality was amazing!  We all had goosebumps!  

Below is a short sequence of the moon covering the sun, and the sun reemerging from the shadow of the moon.  Enjoy!

1) It begins. (watch the sun spots throughout the series) 




5) Almost there! 

6) And we have totality!  (look at the sun flares surrounding the moon) 

7) The diamond ring effect. 

8) The sun re-emerges. 





13) The last sliver. 

14) And it all ends.