Photography is often assumed to be a seasonal industry, and depending on what your product or service is you may well assume that professional photographers go into some kind of hibernation state once winter is upon us, emerging only as spring starts to creep over the horizon. However for some of our clients winter is the very best time of the year to get as much photography done as possible. Dusk and night photoshoots are much in demand at this time of year, sometimes because of their aesthetic nature, and sometimes simply because that’s the only time that the activity being photographed actually happens.
If any of you have tried to take photographs at night time you will know how difficult it can be, low light levels and slow shutter speeds are not for the faint hearted! Professional photographers bring not only the necessary equipment to a shoot, but also the benefit of detailed knowledge and years of experience in how to tackle photography at night and achieve the very best results.
In the last few months we have been kept very busy covering night photoshoots. Early February found us on location airside at Gatwick Airport. The shoot started in the late afternoon, and then continued through dusk and into the night. Our brief was to show the lighting in the area in it’s best … well … light if you’ll excuse the pun. This assignment took a great deal of time and effort to organise, but when everything came to fruition on the night the resulting images were stunning.
A little closer to home, in Ilkeston Derbyshire, we were asked to photograph the newly refurbished railway station. On the run up to the shoot the weather forecast was dubious and rain looked like a possibility, so a dusk shoot was suggested. Rain obviously isn’t generally the photographer’s friend, but combined with nightfall and effective lighting it can be used to really enhance a photograph and provide dramatic effect.
Another benefit of a winter timed night shoot is that night falls a whole lot earlier than in the summer. Whilst many of us are bemoaning the short days and long winter nights the professional photographer is welcoming the chance to get started at 5pm, instead of 11.30pm later in the year.
Sometimes though, there is no choice. Many industries carry out their activities overnight to ensure minimal disruption during the day, e.g. road and rail repairs are frequently undertaken in the early hours of the morning. Because Peter is well known for his transport photography, and carries a Personal Track Safety Certificate for his rail industry work he is often commissioned to photograph these projects as they are happening overnight. It’s a real privilege and absolutely fascinating to be asked to document this world of busy industry which many of us are totally unaware even exists.
Of course the clocks will be changing soon, and the days will start to draw out again. Hopefully spring and summer will bring us some sunshine and bright blue skies for our daytime location shoots, but we’ll still be carrying out our night assignments, just starting them a little later than at the moment!