For doing night photography in the city, I was curious how much the light pollution obscures the stars. Sounds easy enough, but the weather in the beginning of the month wasn’t cooperating, giving only overcast skies and rain. Finally it started freezing and the sky cleared for a few days.
To my surprise the stars were much more visible than I had expected. The constellations, or at least the brightest stars were visible. Almost like during a full moon, but not quite. Most importantly, it is enough to work with. The city I live in (Turku) is, however, a small city by European standards. Which naturally means it can only be worse in larger cities, where not much more than the brightest objects are visible. Copy-pasting in the Milky Way isn’t really my thing, so I am happy to have stars visible to make the sky more interesting
Two nights later the conditions were again great for night photography. I had expected fog, but instead I small ice crystals (a.k.a “diamond dust” or ) were falling from the sky. Creating an effect similar to a solar pillar, but from any light on ground level. A nice surprise indeed! I saw a few light pillars in the distance and I managed to add them into a composition I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but not known how to make unique.
I continued by going to the harbor. By this time the ice crystals had stopped falling, but there were plenty of other subjects there and I’ve noticed it is a popular spot for photographers. From another perspective the harbor isn’t that interesting, at least from a landscape photographers perspective. Simple because it is a museum nowadays. There are ships, cranes an other things typical for a harbor, but they are (almost) all taken out of commission. In other words, almost nothing changes (besides weather and light). Of course, it is great location for people visiting the city or for walking in, but I feel the need to think a bit further for developing my photography.
Finding interesting locations in the urban landscape isn’t easy though. Especially not in a small city. The picture above of the highway is more in the direction I want to go. It’s a location that is more “alive”, meaning it’s a part of the, both in short and long term, changing urban landscape. I have a few more ideas I will start working on, so I’ll just have to see how I can develop my night photography in the city.