Nighttime Shooting – Weekly Photo Challenge

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

Stephanie Meyer

(6 photos)



One of my favorite things about the photo challenges is that they incent me to revisit my archives, often times coming upon photos I’ve not seen for a while. The shot above, for example, was made during a class last year on “painting with light”. I remember distinctly that the evening was much colder that most on Kiawah, and I was trying to shoot wearing gloves – always a challenge . It was a fun class that I really enjoyed while learning quite a bit.  In the first shot we used no additional lighting and focused on capturing the evening’s stars. By comparison, in the second we used a flashlight to illuminate the gazebo, which then became a more prominent element of the composition. Personally, although I enjoyed playing with the light,  I prefer the first shot; how about you?



“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

Sarah Williams

In the bridge shot from Shanghai which follows, the lighting was already in place and the two stargazers offered an interesting compositional element. How nice of them to stand perfectly still without even being asked 🙂



“The darker the night, the brighter the stars.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

After Shanghai we visited Hong Kong, where we were told of their marvelous nightly light show. Challenged by the size of the crowd (all of whom had obviously heard the same thing) I was determined to find an open spot for my tripod that would allow an undisturbed shot. Fortunately my husband is a tall and determined guy, and was able to help me maneuver into position for the capture below. For more night shots of both Shanghai and Hong Kong, visit my post here.



“Listen to the music of the night.”

Charles Hart

Finally, two shots taken several years ago in beautiful Dubrovnik. The first was taken from my hotel window with the camera positioned on the sill. I was enamored with the red rooftops and the outstanding quality of the evening’s blue light. By comparison, the second was taken on a moody, lamplit, cobblestone walkway. I liked the effect of the blur, which I thought added to the feel of the composition.



“Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.”

Edgar Allan Poe



“The night shall be filled with music,
And the cares, that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents like the Arabs, and silently steal away.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

This week in particular, it is important for me to remember that the darkness does indeed help us to appreciate the gift of light. I offer a huge thank you to my family and friends – all of whom are part of that very light.  I also thank Ben for his timely reminder.  To see the nights of some other bloggers, click here.

133 thoughts on “Nighttime Shooting – Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. I love the last shot – it really depicts a mood of the night. I don’t have very many night shots – mainly because I don’t like to drag a tripod around. I know I should be better about using a tripod 🙂

    • Thanks Nora – I know what you mean. I hate the tripod too but sometimes ya just gotta do what you gotta do! I carried it all over china for a month and only used it 4 times, but it really was invaluable when I needed it. A sometimes necessary evil 😦

  2. I do like the stars of the first shot … but the gazebo looks so warm and inviting in the second, and the color of the sky and stars is inviting, too.

    Perfect capture of the evening’s blue light in your Blue Hour photo.

    And, thank you for the reminder that darkness does indeed help us to appreciate the gifts of light that come into our lives — both the expected and unexpected ones.

    • Thank you Cindi-glad you enjoyed. As for the light, you’re right. One never knows where it will come from. This week it came to me from some wonderful friends and family, and was much needed and appreciated. So too my friends in the blogosphere 🙂

  3. Stunning shots, Tina. Architecture and lighting at it’s night time best. If it’s a choice, then the first of your two gazebo shot if my favourite, although it is a close run thing. :o) I like that the emphasis is on the stars rather than the architecture.

  4. I like the first photo of the gazebo, too! It has an air of mystery. Love the shot of Hong Kong. I visited there and saw the light show too. It is such a fascinating city. Lovely photos from your travels! 😊

  5. i prefer your first to the second image as well, although even that one has its own effect. altogether, a great nighttime collection. and i also agree, the mood of the last image could well have been lost if everything was crisp and sharp. thanks for sharing these moments. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Photo Challenge: Nighttime | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice

  7. Beautiful shots, I actually like the 2nd shot you lit up on the first set (but both are very nice). The city lights of HK always are a sight to see, but my favorite is your last shot with the street lights late at night ~ a bit of blur and different light sources make it perfect. Cheers!

  8. wonderful! and glad to see stuff front he archives – and regarding the first one (Personally, although I enjoyed playing with the light, I prefer the first shot; how about you?) well I like them both for different reasons – the first had a calmer and quieter feel – and almost felt like a book cover -while the second one was vibrant and felt like a movie DVD cover – oh I dunno – but cool night shots!

  9. Tina, I enjoyed your musings. I also prefer the first of the two gazebo photos. I love the shot of Hong Kong. The lights are stunning, but I’m glad not to be in a city with so many people (although I might enjoy it for a time.) I also like the last one. The light and the invitation of the street are lovely.


    • Thanks so much Janet. Yes Hong Kong can be a bit crazy – how about this week with the massive democracy protests! A good place to be far away from. But it’s a beautiful place as are all the others in my post. Appreciate your checking in!

  10. I liked all your selections! I agree with you about the weekly challenge – I love going back through my inventory and see what I have. It’s fun to pick out things to share that I hadn’t processed before. Mine will be my trip to Charleston in 2012! Unfortunately the first one I worked on has a lot of noise in it and I got too tired to solve it. Maybe later tonight I’ll get back to it.


  11. A great series Tina. I love the lamplights, which seem to be everyone’s favourite. I also appreciate your “light painting” photo, particularly now having tried it myself in the early hours of this morning ( It’s opened a whole new world of photographic creativity, which I never would have attempted had it not been for these photo challenges, echoing your thoughts at the beginning of the post. Best wishes, as always…A

  12. I really like your first photo. It has an illustrative quality to it which I would expect to find on the cover of a music CD, or the poster to a theater production.

    Well Done,

  13. Stars are magical & to capture them so beautifully is a mesmerizing gift. Also love the lamplights ….like out of a movie scene…gorgeous. dsupp

  14. Really lovely shots Tina…..I think I actually prefer the drama of the second gazebo shot…..but that could just be the way I’m feeling tonight! I absolutely love that blurred Dubrovnik shot… brings back lovely memories from last summer 🙂

  15. You must a whole stash of photos tuck away somewhere. The gift of light stands out for me, Tina., for we have our internal light and your light shines on us reflected on your wonderful post. Thank you. Perpetua. BTW I prefer photos using the natural light i.e without the flashlights and the alley ways with lamp posts.

  16. So difficult to choose a favourite from your ever lovely photos. I actually prefer the second shot of the gazebo – I like the sharpness of the structure in that shot – the city lights are excellent, and I like the blurred last shot because of the light reflected in the wet cobbles, now that blur adds to the image. Some of my blurs just make you feel sick!

  17. All are fabulous. I, too, like the first shot over the second one. And I really love the pics from Dubrovnik. I’ve never been there, but your shots draw me to it. As far as Hong Kong goes, that one picture of the city at night is worth a lot. I may never get there, but you’ve captured what I’m missing quite well!!!

  18. Love the star shots, Tina. I am torn which is my favorite. I’m intrigued by the flashlight technique. Must try that when my tripod arrives. Went with your suggestion on carbon fiber, but had to start at a lower cost point … Manfrotto had a new product release last month. It was the decision – (Befree Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head). It’s a starting point 🙂 Made in Italy.

    • Thanks Jane – the flashlight thing was fun. We actually put colored filters on the light to create different effects. Fun but I liked the more natural lighting. Good job on the tripod – now get out there and practice with it, it takes getting used to!

  19. I also prefer the first photograph Tina. The soft, yellow light really compliments the star-studded sky in a nice way. My favorite, however, is the city bridge shot 🙂 The human element really gives that extra edge to this image. It has made this photograph — what would otherwise have been a nice architecture shot — a beautiful expression of togetherness 🙂 The composition if simply perfect.

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