Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime

For this week’s post, Ben challenges us to showcase our best nighttime shots.  I love night photography.   Under the cover of darkness, secrets are revealed in unexpected places.  Sometimes I take a shot, only to find hidden “treasure” when I open up the file in Photoshop and explore what the lens has “seen” but my eyes missed.    My go-to lens for night shots is my prime 50mm Canon (f1.4), which has beautiful clarity and bokeh.

So, here are 3 night photos taken in urban environments.   The first capture was shot on a walk along Newbury Street in Boston right before the shops closed for the night.  The second shot was my reward for standing on Dearborn Street one freezing night in Chicago.  The bus stops in Chicago are privately owned and decorated in novel ways.  Absolut Vodka not only provided the bulls-eye graphics for this stop, but also the 3 color coordinated chairs!   The last capture was taken in Riverside Park in New York City of the Firemen’s Memorial Statue .  This gorgeous sculpture by Attilio Piccirilli honors fire fighters  killed in the line of duty.  The shadows and darkness created a dramatic backdrop for the sculpture of a woman holding the inert figure of a fireman.  For this shot, I used a kit lens and a flash, so it’s a bit grainy.  I am eager to go back and retake the shot with my 50 mm prime lens.

Night is a world lit by itself. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Newbury Street Shop,  Boston, MA

Newbury Street Shop, Boston, MA

I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day.–Vincent Van Gogh
Absolut Chicago

Absolut Chicago

To me, every hour of the day and night is an unspeakably perfect miracle.–Walt Whitman
Firemen Memorial, Riverside Drive, New York

Firemen Memorial Statue, Riverside Drive, New York

To see other memorable interpretations of this week’s theme, click on the links below:

32 replies »

      • No, I haven’t done much work at night time, because I’ve been told the best cameras to use are the full frames, with the biggest sensors, they handle night time scenes very well. They are just too big of a camera for me, I just use a Canon 70D and I have a 700D too. I get panicky of getting noise also, but I don’t go out much at night also. The issue is increasing the ISO (so you don’t get camera blur) and that is what brings on the noise, and the full frame cameras do very well on this matter. You could try increasing your ISO until you get at least 1/80 sec exposure, and see how it performs without flash nor tripod. And cameras are getting better at this, but the full frame is the best.


    • Hi Tina. Thanks! I always love to hear your thoughts on my work. Ah yes, the prime lens is the best! If I buy another one (in addition to the 50 mm), which one should I get? I’m debating….Patti


      • I’m probably the wrong one to ask but I’d go with a macro lens if I had no budget to worry about! I like the flexibility of a zoom at the higher end and a prime lens of any reach is too heavy to handhold if it’s good quality. Personally I’m beginning to be tempted to move to a mirrorless camera. Have you looked at those? Very tempting!!


  1. I really liked the collection on nighttime. I somehow find it difficult to capture things at night.
    The Chicago bus stop is an eye candy, bright colours. The girl from the first photo reminds me of ramps and models and the third one stands out for its nobility in the night time. All in all I loved them all and enjoyed them all. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing.


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