Bob Benson, APSA  

Rochester Christmas by Bob Benson, APSA

January 2020 - Rochester Christmas

About the Image(s)

My local camera club has a theme category for January of Night Photography, which had to be taken this season. I was running out of time to get my third image, and I know that where my daughter lives in Rochester, Michigan, the stores down the main strip have lights covering them, so I planned on taking some images when we were there for Thanksgiving. The shots that I really liked were more of a wide view, and had these marvelous car light streaks. However, in my rush to get these, I made the same mistake I made once before (you would think I would have learned once from such a costly error), but I forgot to turn of image stabilization on the lens while on a tripod. All those nice images (at least in my mind, anyway) were lost. This one was salvageable, as perhaps it was brighter, and required less exposure time. I reduced the highlights and applied some color development, darkened some bright signs, and then used some aggressive sharpening to compensate. The signage seems sharp enough, but there is still a little squiggly movement in the lights, especially the red ones. I did not find them too objectionable, and so I am still considering this image. Because this building was at a stoplight corner, it was more difficult to get the moving lights, as the cars had not built up much speed. I also do not like that I cut of the R in the Red, but to get it meant stepping out into a very busy street and finding time to compose on a tripod. The one car across the street was parked, but because of the lights, it almost looks like it is moving. I guess if nothing else, I just enjoyed taking this, due to the Starwars theme in the bakery across the street. Besides the Storm Troopers on the second floor, there is C3PO with an apron on serving customers, and Yoda on the fireplace mantel.
2 sec at f11, 31 mm

This round’s discussion is now closed!
4 comments posted

Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
This is just awesome fun, everything about it! I love the Star Wars characters, the swooshing cars, but mostly the lights. I don't see any distraction by the light squiggles (I hadn't used my Lumix in awhile and forgot to turn 'on' image stabilization, sadly). I don't mind the missing R, but wonder if an expand/fill tool would bring back an illusion. You could neaten with a crop to the right side to the edge of the push button sign, or the pole since the street sign is cut, but you then lose the red hand which adds to the quirkiness. Great fun scene that will bring lots of smiles!   Posted: 01/04/2020 09:45:01

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
I don't see any problem with the image stabilization issue. The image looks very sharp to me. In terms of composition, perhaps having the full "R" in the frame could improve the picture, but I can live with just a hint of it (maybe, in a tough competition this could be an excuse for an "out"). For the rest, I like the lights on the buildings, in two different hues. As you said, the moving lights of other cars make the parked vehicle look as if it were moving, too. Not so impressed by the Star Wars figures: nothing against them, but I find the rest of the picture very interesting per se.   Posted: 01/06/2020 18:19:36

Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
Happy New Year, Bob. I find this a happy, colorful rendition of what the holidays should be. The people in the store add interest for me, particularly the red jacket. I think the car lights are fine, and adds to the color of the scene. Obviously it would have been better if those lines were going vertically into the picture, but then you would have lost the close up details of the building.
I think the missing "R" is fine as my brain is able to recognize it. I probably would have cropped out the pole on the right side completely, as I don't think it adds anything to the composition.   Posted: 01/07/2020 09:11:26

Guy Hawkins   Guy Hawkins
I love the lights on the building and especially the fact that they are two different colors. Really shows the spirit of the holidays. As for the R it does not bother me that much. If you had changed your perspective a little and shifted a little to the left might have been able to bring the R in full focus and have eliminated the pole on the left. I like the lines of the passing cars and how they make the parked car look like it is moving.   Posted: 01/20/2020 20:05:00