The kindness of strangers


Yesterday was election day in the United States.  Many millions of Americans went to the polls to vote on the direction of the country for the next 2 years. While I also went, I had other items on my agenda for the day. You see, my wife does more than just go vote on that day, she is also a polling manager at one of the local precincts. So on election days, she is up and out of the house by 5 a.m. and does not return until well after 10 p.m.    I am very proud of her for doing this and it is something that she seems to enjoy.

I, on the other hand, have the entire day to myself. So guess what I go do?  First is take out local fur-baby to the dog park to run some of the energy out of him. He loves to run and there is nothing quite like the joy he expresses when he does so.  As I get off of work at 5 and the sunset occurs about 5:45, we only got about 30 minutes at the park.

Gotta love a goofy dog!

As we were leaving the park, I noticed the sky was starting to turn some incredible colors. So Chance and I headed to another local park so I could shoot the sunset.

I have shot many a sunset at Briscoe Park so I was looking for something a little different this time and I decided what I needed was people in my photos. Well, it was just Chance and I so what to do. Well, that turned out to be frightening and enlightening at the same time. I had to ask strangers to pose for me!  Not only that, but because I was shooting long exposures of 15-30 seconds, I had to ask them to sit still during the exposure….  No one I asked turned me down. (I think it was the dog!!!)

I asked this person who was taking a walk to pose on the bench for me.  With no hesitation, she did so.

So, on this image I had set the tripod up and got all of the metering done and started looking for a person to sit on the bench.  This young lady was walking by enjoying the evening when I asked if she would pose for me. I explained that she would be in silhouette and that there would be no detail other  than her general shape.  I also explained that she would need to be perfectly still for about 15 seconds and I would let her know when I was done. Surprisingly, she agreed with no hesitation and we got a great image!


Emboldened by that success I wet to scout another spot.  This is  bench just to the left of the previous image (In fact, you can see the bench in that image). and I set up for the shot. Just as I was doing so, I saw this young couple walk to the gazebo and start to sit down to enjoy the sunset. When I approached them, I could tell they were a little curious as to whey I was stalking them.  As I let them know what I wanted to do they immediately agreed and we set up this shot.




While I like the shot, I should have had them switch sides so you could of seen them both in the image. As it is, the young lady is obscured by the young man and there is not real detail there. I would of also liked to have used a flash to bring out a little more detail in the tree to the left.  But I am happy with the image… I will just do better next time.


A long exposure experiment. Still have work to do.

For comparison, you can see a similar image without people in it and it just loses something… 


Lastly, as I was leaving the park, the sun had gone down and the moon had risen. As I glanced up, I saw this through the trees…

Moon in the trees. I missed set the ISO on this one... BOOO!


Another quick grab, but I had the camera set to ISO 6400 which introduced a lot of noise to the image.  I will be trying this one again.

So, If you happen to see a large, balding, man dragging a tripod and camera pack through Briscoe Park and he asks you to pose for him, you will now know why!