8/30/16 — Anaheim After Dark

Over the past week as we’ve had a chance to check out our little neighborhood I had the thought that I’d like to make some images after the sun set. Tonight presented the perfect opportunity for me as Tammy and Christian have gone for the night. Tammy has a job tomorrow a bit south of here and she took Christian with her as she is going to be really close to the beach and he’s been dying to go to any beach since we got here.

I decided tonight would be as good a night as any to make some night images. I decided to use my X-T1 (actually I didn’t have a choice since Tammy took the X-E2 with her) and 16 f1.4 (tripod mounted of course as my exposures would range anywhere from 5 to 25 seconds). I would have chosen the X-T1 in any case as the top mounted controls (including ISO) are just a bit quicker for me than menu diving (or using the “Q” button) on the X-E2. In either case the images would have been pretty much equal as both cameras have the same sensor/processor combo. The biggest thing in favor of the X-T1 is it’s much bigger and brighter EVF when compared with the X-E2.

In any case I was out for about an hour and one-half making images. The first shot I decided to try was a basic street scene. The street had lights hung overhead from side to side and I thought it would look pretty good as it was getting dark. After a few test shots I decided I’d like to add some streaks from the headlights and tail lights of passing cars. Nothing too technical. I hadn’t done shots like these in over 25 years. What took the longest was actually getting cars going in the direction you wanted. I took about twenty shots and finally I got cars in all direction at the intersection. I called it good and went on my way.

ISO 200 15" f11 — Fuji X-T1 w/16mm f1.4 ©Scott D’Errico 2016

This is one area, when compared with film that I think mirrorless digital shines. Firstly you’ve got instant gratification. No more making your shots, hoping your exposures were correct then going back and processing your film to find out you got nothing and having to start all over. Secondly you don’t have to worry about mirror lock up or mirror slap when making long exposures as you would with an SLR or DSLR.

The second and third shots I decided to try were of our building lit up. I had noticed a few nights earlier that there was a really cool neon “Harbor Lofts” sign on the top of the building. I scoped out a few angles, tried a few different shots and came up with these.

ISO 200 5" f10 — Fuji X-T1 w/16mm f1.4 ©Scott D’Errico 2016
ISO 200 10" f11 — Fuji X-T1 w/16mm f1.4 ©Scott D’Errico 2016

I decided to head back into the building and on my way back to our place decided to grab a shot of the pool area and the walkway to our apartment. Nothing overly exciting but a good test of the capabilities of the camera for long exposure rendering and detail.

ISO 200 10" f7.1 — Fuji X-T1 w/16mm f1.4 ©Scott D’Errico 2016
ISO 200 20" f13 — Fuji X-T1 w/16mm f1.4 ©Scott D’Errico 2016

No, it wasn’t the most exciting shoot I’ve ever done, but for it being my first time in 20+ years trying this type of shot I feel pretty happy with my results. Plus I’ve got some nice shots to remember what it was like here after dark.

Scott