Night photography in Bendigo

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BY Matthew Davis

Bendigo’s historic buildings and statues are quite interesting to admire during the day, but when night falls they take on a different perspective as they are lit up.

They provide night photographers with some spectacular opportunities to test and hone their skills. A tripod is essential to help keep the camera steady when taking long exposure shots, otherwise it means finding something solid to perch the camera on and this limits the angles possible. In the winter months, rugging up is a must not only because of the cold but it helps combat shivering hands that are an enemy to keeping the camera still, even if it’s on a tripod.

Combining night photography with black and white also produces some excellent results. The lack of colour means the eye focuses on the details rather than being dazzled by things like traffic lights or harsh incandescent lights. In this day and age you don’t have to change the film in your camera (although film is still popular with professionals), and editing software on your computer makes adjusting qualities such as colour hues, sharpness, contrast and focus a snap.

The Pall Mall precinct contains the old Post Office, Shamrock Hotel, War Memorial, Alexander Fountain and statues of Queen Victoria and Sir John Quick. Most of these are lit up with specially positioned lighting to highlight the details, with the exception of the John Quick statue. Those who are a little more invested in their hobby can get around this by using extra lights to highlight the subject. A camera with manual settings helps as you can adjust exposure lengths. Then you simply click away, trying different settings and angles.

The really fun stuff begins at home once you have transferred the images from your camera to the computer. A good picture on the camera’s preview screen may turn out to be less so on the computer. That’s why taking multiple shots is a good idea. Sometimes a shot is best left ‘as is’ with no editing while others might need some cropping or tweaking of the colours to get the best out of them.

So, give night photography a go. Bendigo has other spots that offer interesting night subjects and we at The Situation would welcome your contributions. That’s one of mine above.

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