I struggle to think of myself as a photographer, but one thing that always makes me think I must be doing okay is that I see photos in my head. For instance, I knew exactly how this shot was going to turn out weeks back, even though I’d only passed by this Dairy Queen during the day. Across the street is a raised parking area servicing a small strip mall. The last time I was at the Dairy Queen (we’ve had this love/hate relationship for years now) it was still quite warm out. I sat on their patio enjoying a milkshake and thinking about what this place would look like through my viewfinder at night, specifically around dusk when you get that indigo sky. I’d already scoped out the spot across the street from where I’d shoot it. My only concern was whether or not their exterior lighting worked. If one of the lights was burned out it would spoil the whole thing. Driving home the other night I checked it out and the lights were all on. I decided I better haul my ass over there soon before it closed for the season. Most Dairy Queens close up shop for the winter here in the great white north. Well, tonight was that night. I got home, grabbed my gear and headed over there. Lucky enough, I got just the shot I wanted.
Technically speaking, I shot this at F8 and on my tripod using my wide angle lens. The shutter speed was 1/2 a second and the ISO was 200. I couldn’t possibly hand hold it at that slow a shutter. The reason I shot at F8 was that if you want to get the “star” effect off street lighting, you have to shoot at a smaller aperture. After shooting this I went to a gar station on my list and shot it with an even smaller aperture, F11. That achieved an even better star effect. I didn’t stop down more because I was trying to balance the sharpness of my lens with the effect I wanted. My lens is sharpest at around F5.6. Anyway, I’m really pleased with the results and although it was darn chilly I’m happy I went back out for the shot. Hope you like it. I’ll post a shot of the gar bar a little later.