This Downtown Clarkston light trails photography is a project I did for the Clarkston Chamber upcoming directory cover. Don Rush of the Clarkston News is the publisher and acting art director. We had done a previous shoot of scenes of Clarkston shot with HDR and neither Don or I we super pleased with the results. Don had seen a similar photo online and comped up the cover. I was it and was inspired to do this.
To shoot this I placed a tripod in the backseat of my car and pointed the camera out the back window. In the uncropped versions, you can see my side mirror. I then drove up and down Main Street as the evening got darker, using different shutter speeds to create the trail of lights.
I’m pretty sure Don will use one of these for the Chamber directory.
Can you guess the various buildings in Clarkston. They are all upon and down Main Street.
Here is some Downtown Clarkston HDR photography I did this summer for the cover of the Clarkston Chamber Guide. I was working with Don Rush, the publisher of the Clarkston News to supply a photograph of something classic Clarkston business. Ultimately we ended up going in a different direction and did not use these shots.
HDR photography is a process of combining multiple exposures of the same scene where there are brighter and darker exposure, capture detail in all the shadows and highlights. Photographic software like Lightroom, Photoshop and a bunch of apps combine the exposures to make a pleasing shot. Some of the software allows adjustments and some do it for you. It is easy to go way overboard with the HDR software and get artificial looking images. It is all under the control to the photographer.
I have used HRD here as a way to make a pleasing balanced image to bring back what our eyes and brain see. Cameras today have limited (but much improving and considerably better than film) dynamic range. The camera cannot record the wide difference in the lightest and darkest area on scenes like this.
The shot of Old Village Cafe is a multipart panorama in addition to an HDR, so there are 12 separate images to make this one. Other shots include Honcho’s umbrellas, the side alley next to Union Woodshop, the clock in front of The Fed and a couple in the downtown area.
For the sixth year I did street photography at the 2017 Taste of Clarkston. I was in the parking lot of the Clarkston News, thanks Don and Jim. Every year I choose a local charity to gove donations to. This year it was DRAW’s turn. When I photograph people I let them know I will send them multiple jpg files from the session. I also let them know that they can make a donation. This year was lighter in past years and we raised $112 for DRAW.
I stand out on the sidewalk and ask people if they are up for a portrait, many decline. I’m much better at getting friends in for some shots. I also look for interesting people that would make a good portrait. For this years, at the end of the session I asked people to give me their best sad sack or deadpan face. I think it is funny that most intrepid it as sad and gave me sad faces. A couple really nailed it.
Here are some examples of testing I did for Tin Type photography alternative process. I had the possibility of being asked to do tin types for a production, it did not end up happening. These tins are the results of my testing and becoming competent in making these delicate images.
Tin types are post Civil War photographic technology that first appeared in 1855, peaked around 1870 and was mostly out of use by the turn of the century. The image is created by making a negative image on a black aluminum plate. As in traditional black and white film negatives, dark areas of the image are lighter & clearer on the negative while the lighter areas of the images appear black or darker in a negative. What you see in a tin type is the “negative” letting the dark areas of the black plate show through and the room lighting showing the black or darker parts of the negative as white or lighter. You can sometimes get the same effect by looking at a film negative against a black background.
The process I use to make tins is to prepare the 4×5 plates in a darkroom with a fairly bright red light (the emulsion is not sensitive to red light at all, which makes for some unusual looks and exposures). The emulsion is a gel at room temperature so I warm the emulsion in a hot bath. After it has warmed I pour some on the black plate and roll it around to evenly cover the plate and then let it dry. I then load one plate in typical 4×5 film holders a friend of mine machine to accept the plates. The plates are good to use for a day or so. I then load the film holder into my Speed Graphic press camera with a Fugi 210mm, expose for 1 ISO and then back into the darkroom. It is pretty much typical film processing after that. Develop, fix and wash. I use Glad sandwich containers for chemical trays as the plated fit perfectly.