Walking and photographing at night makes for some interesting motion studies.
Walking and photographing at night makes for some interesting motion studies.

I’ve said this repeatedly; walking through a neighborhood is still the best way to make “discovered” pictures. When you walk you see it. And, it really is just that simple. You also take the time to experiment. I dis just that with this picture. These days, and with all things digital, sharpness seems to be the thing. It isn’t though. Anyone can crank their ISO up to a billion, turn night into day and keep every part of the picture razor-sharp. Yeah, sure, you’ll likely introduce some bad things into your picture. Maybe a little noise. Maybe a little purple fringing. But, hey, you got it sharp.

The real trick is to work at slow ISOs, with a not wide open aperture and let the camera do its thing. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when the technology of the camera sees things that my eye can’t see. This is one of those pictures. It’s handheld at about 1/4 second at f5.6. How do I know it’s f 5.6? An old mentor taught me to work at that setting when I was photographing at night. So, that’s where I generally work. What is the bit of magic? The legs. I was mainly focused on the yellow bike at night. I could see people moving around in the corner of my eye. But, I didn’t realize they were walking through the picture. They were. And, they helped to complete the picture.

Oh. Where was this picture made. On Esplanade, a street the passes in between The French Quarter and The Marigny. I often forget to work in The Marigny at night. That’s bad. There is a lot more local energy there.