My interest is night photography was rekindled by a woman that I met on the Sift to Bikes Mystery Night Rides in Portland Oregon. Ayleen uses a film camera and takes pictures of the group when the mystery ride reaches its destination. I first started taking pictures at night with my long gone AE-1 when I had a paper route for the LA Times in the 1980s. I used ISO 64 slide film and took pictures during short breaks in the early morning.
So it is Saturday night and I have just dropped off my dad at his hotel room in the new part of Bastrop off Texas Highway 71. I head back to my room which is on the far eastern edge of Bastrop. I decide to take the route through the Bastrop historic section of town. As I cross the Colorado River the lights on the old bridge that is used for pedestrian traffic inspire me. The old bridge is right next to the new ridge that I am driving on. I remember my last night ride in Portland and how beautiful the Sellwood Bridge looked at night. I make a mental note to try to take a picture of this bridge some evening.
As I continue towards my motel I drive past a small cafÃ© with nice blue neon lights. This cafÃ© is the Roadside CafÃ© which was in the move Home Fries staring Drew Barrymore. There have been several movies made in Bastrop including one of my familyâ€™s favorites The Big Green. As I made my turn off Texas Highway 95 onto Loop 150 I decided that now was the time to do some more night photography. I had tested my EOS 10D earlier with a few shots of trucks in the Exxon parking lot behind my hotel. This shot I thought that I would have a better chance to take a really nice picture. I parked my car near the entrance to Bastrop State Park. This is where the movie was actually shot. The current location of the Roadhouse CafÃ© is where it was moved after the movie. I set up my tripod and I took four pictures and then went back to my hotel room.
I have never used any of the custom features of my EOS 10 D and had never taken pictures using the RAW file format. These photographs mark the first time that I have taken and digitally process my own images using my laptop, Canon software, and Adobe Photoshop. This is the reason that I got interested in computers in the first place some 20 years ago and somehow got side tracked trying to raise a family and earn a living. The first image is a JPG export from the RAW file format. I digitally tweaked some of the file parameters before saving the exported file. This is just like taking a piece of negative film and making a print in a traditional darkroom. Once you take a picture with the negative you can make many prints with different effects. In the digital world taking a picture and saving the RAW image you can do the same thing. I can adjust the settings and then save it to a JPG file for viewing or printing. The RAW file always has my original photographic information that was captured when I took the picture.
The second image has special effects that I applied using PhotoShop. I took the image and applied the Fresco filter to give it a pop art painted effect. I will continue to use filters to come up with an image that I like and then I will make a print of it. If the print is Ok then I may try to sell copies of it. This is the process that I will go through as I create digital art.