Nicola Cocco: How did you shoot that – Artificial light in city
Sometimes happens that you have to take some shots of a city, or a part of it, and the weather and lights are not on your side. I’m pretty sure that you have faced that condition few times, and you know, you’re out in a city and you have nothing useful and good to use. Architectures are flat, sky is white/grey without mood and everything seems to be without interest. You may say that I’m a bit old-fashioned when I say that the light still the key for every good picture but that’s what I’m searching for in my shoots: a good light.
Back to our scenario when you have no good light in a city there’s are few chances to catch a good shoot and one is: waiting the artificial light.
At the early city light wakeup (I mean the few minutes available when the artificial light is switched on ) the difference between the artificial lights and the natural light takes a magical balance that last not so much time. In that small time window you can work with some elements of the city like architectures, people walking, natural elements or traffic too.
You have to study the right place before the shoots time arrives and wait. If the light is not so good during the afternoon you can use that time to explore the city and evaluate the “good” places to shoot just when the right moment appears.
In this shoot our subject was that long colonnade where I picked that framing. I decided to include the graffiti tag on the first column on the left to give a contemporary collocation of that shoot of that religious structure and also to balance the prospective subject of the colonnade end that is located on the top-right of the frame and it’s surely a structural point of the image.
Just after the artificial lights switch-on the walls and the arches started to reflect a yellow warm light opposed to the blue sky light entering on the left side of the colonnade.
I like to “keep” people in my city shoots to “tell the story” of the place and so I waited the three people walking at the end of the tunnel. I was taking some shoots of that framing when a people dressed by black entered from a arch on the left making a “black-ghost” figure.
At the end during the editing process of that session I decided to select that shoots, the blurred figure on the bottom left part of the image give more story and dynamic to the shoot, making it even more “live” and “storytelling”.
Aperture : f 8
Shutter speed : 2s
ISO : 200
Focal length : 90mm
Tripod used : Gitzo GT031 + Head Manfrotto MH055 QR2
Place : Colonnade of Monteberico, Vicenza, Italy