Light and Color Transform a City After Dark
There is something special about the city of Providence at night. When the sun goes down the city comes to life in more ways then one. While the hustle and bustle of nightlife activity jumps to mind, there is more. What I love is the amazing display of lights and colors that transform the city after dark.
I love making the lights the subject of my night photographs, such that the light and its color become the dominant element of the scene. The buildings of the city simply become giant candle holders in my mind.
From a technical perspective, night photography is really no different then landscape photography. The principles of exposure are the same. Preserving the details in the highlights is essential.I love to use a small aperture setting, such as f/18 or f/22. The smaller aperture setting is what turns the lights from blobs of light, into pretty starbursts. Due to the small aperture, the exposure times can get relatively long. Compensating for the the longer exposure time means I am always using my tripod and cable release.
Visual Icons in Providence at Night
The city of Providence is full of very recognizable subjects to photograph at night. Once the sun goes down The Manchester Street Power station turns into a beautiful glow of warm yellow and red lights. In contrast, a few hundred feet away the I-Way bridge over the Providence River is awash in a cool, blue light.
The Rhode Island State House has to be one of the most impressive buildings in the city. It boasts the fourth largest self supported dome in the world. Founded on the ideals of freedom and independence, the state house has a symbol of those ideals atop its dome. Known as “The Independent Man”, this 11 foot tall 500 pound bronze statue has looked out over the city of Providence for well over 100 years.
Exploring Providence at night would not be complete without photographing one special building. When looking at the city skyline, I am always struck by one building in the center of the scene. Affectionately called “The Superman Building” by Providence locals, 111 Westminster Street dominates the skyline. Looking very much like The Daily Planet building from the comic book Superman, it is by far my favorite building in Providence. I feature it in often in my night photography. Sadly, the majority of the lights have been extinguished, as the building is currently vacant.
The following is a small sample of my favorite photos of Providence at Night. All of these photos, as well as many of my other photographs, are for sale in my fine art print gallery.