I took my Saturday students out in bitterly cold weather on the last day of January to shoot car trails. The high temperature during the day was 52° but it was supposed to get down to 24° that night. The sky was totally clear so I knew that we would be chilly at best. I was worried that the weather might turn them off and everyone would leave within an hour. Oh me of little faith!
We met at the Light Factory at 5:15 in the parking lot and carpooled to the location. It only took a few minutes to get there so we had to wait for the sun to start to set. Traffic whizzed by behind AND below us as we stood on the bridge with our tripods and cameras. People honked. CATS buses shook the bridge (always a stomach churning feeling… one of the students stayed close to solid ground which ended up not only feeling more safe, but provided a great vantage point for his shots).
As the sun finally started to set, the shutter speeds got longer. One student was experimenting with his exposures and got the first hints of the car trails with a 2-½ second exposure. Then it was on! Everyone was experimenting and asking questions and getting shots that they were happy to call theirs. We were even briefly joined by on the bridge by another photographer who saw the group and wanted to benefit from “safety in the numbers.”
They all had a blast and were still shooting three hours later! My fingers and toes were numb, but it was thrilling to have these guys bring their cameras over to me to show off their images in their LCD monitors.
I get to do it again on Wednesday night with my other class…