West Yorkshire’s casino district?
Well maybe not, but between the 2 or them, they have a couple of real photographic gems.
The boating lake at Pontefract’s racecourse is fantastic for sunsets, and this bridge in Castleford is pretty spectacular after dark.
So what brought me here…
Well 2 things really – I’m starting the huge McFade Winter Nights series of workshops, 17 in total, so wanted to get out there and do a little warm up shoot. It may not be obvious (intentionally) but there’s quite a bit of added torch light on some of these shots – which is what I’ll be teaching on the workshops.
I think we’ll pop along and shoot the bridge at some point in the winter – it’s a pretty cool structure, with it’s mix of bright white light and surrounding warm “yellow” light, the weir itself is lit nicely and the way it curves offers loads of interesting views.
Secondly, a facebook group called Strictly Yorkshire, has had a lot images from here recently – I’d never been at night so went along with Suki to check it out. What we thought would be 30 minutes shooting turned into a couple of hours, and we met a guy from the facebook group too.
Well there’s a mixture here – initially it was raining so doing longer exposures put the camera at risk and the lens got wet… So I jacked the ISO up high and did 1-5 second exposures to minimise the damage!
When shooting the deck and surroundings, the tonal range of the shot suggested HDR – mainly because the water would burn out completely before the deck started to light up. So I shot my usual -2/0/+2 brackets then merged them later in Photomatix, using a pretty “out there” vibe to make the deck bright blue!
Torch and Long Exposures
As I got to the far end where the flour mill was, I got the bright LED torch out and started to light the buildings – they’re pretty dark with only ambient light on. The torch brought out the lettering nicely and also managed to make the shot balance well – with the whole mill standing out from the dark sky. These shots were 30 seconds, slightly underexposing the sky so the torch work on the bricks would stand out.
McFade Winter Nights
Just a very quick plug for the workshops which kick off in November 2013…
Check out the details on the training website –
It’s all about showing you how to create shots like these – both on the shoot, and later in processing.
There’s a lot of experience in photoshop/RAW editing goes into image creation these days – so I want to ensure you’re getting the best from the files you create so you can win those club competitions, sell prints or just wow your mates on Facebook – whatever motivates you to create images.