Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Portland Photo Tour: Skylines & Bridges at Night

So, as if I haven't gushed about my love for Portland Photo Tours enough here and here, I'm back at it for one more time.

A couple Friday nights ago, Michelle and I attended the tour focused on shooting at night, which is something I have never been able to do. I even recalled a photo of my friend and I atop the Empire State Building at night. You'd never know we were on the observation deck of the skyscraper because the flash lit us up...and that was all. Us against a black background. I bet I have taken dozens more similar shots since that one in New York City. I was using a disposable camera on that 8th grade trip, so it's not like I had much other choice in how to shoot but whatever. I was ready to learn how to take pictures at night!

Our landscape was one of my favorite parts of Portland - the bridges! Well, mostly the Hawthorne Bridge with a few of the Morrison Bridge. As usual, Jennifer made everything so easy to understand.

We started out before it became dark and focused on exposing for the skyline, not the sky. Then, we got to try out Jennifer's graduated neutral density filter to adjust the exposure of the sky. I want to get one of those. None of these photos have been altered in photoshop with the exception of adding the text.

I have never worked with such slow shutter speeds and I just loved some of the shots we were able to capture. Notice how I say we. This is because I forgot my tripod, so Michelle and I shared hers, which meant sharing the camera, too. All the photos you see here were taken by me or Michelle and are known as our Collaborated Collection. I just love love love the light reflections in the water.

After shooting the skyline, we learned how to take portraits at night so that the background isn't black and the person has a bright white light flashed upon her. No more night time photos of people against a black background.

Finally, we learned and practiced using slow shutter speeds on the bridge as traffic drove by, blurring the red tail lights. I'm ready to take pictures of taxis flying by in Times Square, or any other city really.

I was so giddy after this tour and had to show off our pictures to multiple people. Michelle and I already have plans to take more bridgescapes at night and practice. I feel like I have been informed on an entirely new world of what my camera can do.


  1. love love love. did you use a starbust filter! sooo love that picture of the bridge!

  2. Love! Of course! And reminded me I need to post mine, too. AAAHHH! The things we get excited about! Nighttime! Cameras! Portland Bridges! Slow shutter speeds! Can life get any better? I should think not... Except maybe, just maybe, if we got an awesome shot of that Ferris Wheel.

  3. Hi Mallory, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris

  4. Love these photos Mallory - found you through Twitter (I'm @waegook_tom) and loving your blog, too! Portland's a city I'd love to visit when I hit up the US next year, and your pictures only add to that ^.^

  5. Beautiful photos! Too much rain for my taste in the Pacific Northwest. It is gorgeous when it's sunny though.


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