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Winners of the March "Nighttime" contest

Posted by Teresa Hanafin  April 24, 2009 12:45 PM

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There were a few twists and turns with the March contest, but in the end, photographers Lance Keimig and Christian Waeber combined to choose an impressive array of strong images that best illustrated the theme, "Nighttime is the right time."

Lance first picked up a camera in 1984. After honing his skills via workshops, classes, and lots of experimentation, he started teaching in 1997; he has taught at the New England School of Photography and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He also leads night photography workshops across the U.S., and since 2005, he has been the curator at Harvard University's Three Columns Gallery. He leads photo tours and workshops across the US and Europe; you can find a list of his 2009 trips on his website, The Night Skye.

Christian jumped in to help us out so that Lance wouldn't be in the position of possibly choosing a former student's photo as one of the Top 10. Christian is a native of Switzerland who moved to Boston in 1993. He says he is drawn to night photography because he is intrigued by capturing time more than space."In my photographs, the passage of time is captured by showing on the same image different instances of image elements continuously moving during the exposure. I believe that photography can capture ... the very passage of time." You can see his photos and read more about him on his website, Christian Waeber Photography.

We are grateful to both photographers for helping us choose the winners of our March contest. And those winners are:


Symphony Alley
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, 58 seconds at f/16, ISO 100, focal length 19mm

"Night photography is so appealing because it leaves so much to the imagination of the viewer," Christian wrote about the winning photo. "Images taken at night are mysterious: What is happening behind these lit windows? Is there anything hidden in this black corner? 'Symphony Alley' epitomizes this sense of mystery, which is only intensified by the presence of the figure at the bottom left corner of the image, to which the eye is led by the line of the sidewalk. What is this man doing there? Why is he looking down? The apparent sadness of the real person, made even more real by the blue color of its cast shadow, creates an interesting contrast with the joyfulness of character painted on the wall. The photographer skillfully used complementary hues (magenta for the painted character, green for the person) to further emphasize this contrast."


Night Flash
Canon EOS 40D, 25 seconds at f/5.0, ISO 100, focal length 53mm
"I used a Canon 580 flash unit in my left hand pointed at the wall behind me,
then triggered it to go off when I jumped into the air."

"The image is a masterful combination of a long exposure, typical of night photography, with the extremely short exposure obtained with a flash," Christian said. "The position of the shadow cast on the door, together with the presence of an open umbrella (obviously protecting neither for rain, nor from intense sun), adds a strong playful element to the scene. Maybe the umbrella is being used as a prop to keep the character flying; the reference to Mary Poppins is obvious, but the modern car and the baseball cap bring us back to modern days. As in 'Symphony Alley,' the photographer efficiently uses color combinations to give extra interest to the image."


Tree alive at night
Canon EOS 5D, 1,870 seconds (31+ minutes) at f/4.5, ISO 200, focal length 16 mm

Christian comments: "The assignment was 'no sunsets, no dusks, no twilights,' and 'try different shutter speeds. Start with a 1-second exposure and adjust from there.' Obviously, the photographer waited long after sunset, and the exposure was much longer than 1 second (about 30 minutes, judging from the length of the star trails). This image gives a strong sense of balance because the photographer placed the North Star near the middle of the frame, around which all other stars seem to circle. A further element of symmetry is provided by the dark lines in the sand, echoing the shape of the tree branches. Because the image was taken from a low angle, the base of the tree appears at horizon level, and the tree acts as a link between earth and sky, feeding from both elements."

To see all top 10 winning photos, visit this gallery. Congratulations to all, and thanks to all for your patience.

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