Last month I got an unsolicited email from someone in Texas. It said he was coming to Minneapolis to video an event at Orchestra Hall and he was bringing his camera gear. He was interested in taking skyline shots of the cities he visited and wanted any information about locations in the twin cities to shoot. The email had been sent to a number of camera club members in the area, so I wasn’t sure if I needed to reply. Since I live downtown and am familiar with many of the classic locations for images, I ended up sending him a detailed map of the locations I recommended with my impressions of the best times to visit each one.
When he came to the cities he emailed me for more information. From our communication I learned he was staying 4 blocks from my home, so I offered to take him out shooting one night when he was free. It turned out to be an entertaining evening. I learned my guest and I had a lot in common. We were the same approximate age, both former camera club presidents, and both interested in night time urban photography. The only major difference between us was he came from the warm end of the Mississippi River. We ended up shooting for over four hours in both Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Below are two of the images I shot during the evening. The first was shot from a freeway overpass south of Minneapolis to capture the light trails in and out of the city. The image looked better in color than B & W, but I didn’t think it had the same POP as it does in B & W with color added back in to focus on the red light trails. (The white trials were similar in both color or B & W).
This second image depicts the St. Paul skyline looking north from a bluff in Mounds Park. This shot was also a long exposure taken from the very edge of the bluff about 100 feet straight up from the highway below.
After reviewing the nights work I had a number of images I thought were great captures I would never have made had I not responded to the unsolicited email. I certainly wouldn’t have gone out alone that night (It was unusually cold and windy), if not prompted to do so by a visitor who only had a short time to go out shooting.
Submitted by Dynolights Member Mark Karney