The Wenatchee World

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Overnight

Lo65° Scattered Showers

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Interesting lighting

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As a documentary photographer, sometimes I end up making photographs in some very unusual lighting. Last Saturday night during the rail jam at Mission Ridge was one example. The organizers had the normal lights that are set up for skiing on the course but they also brought in two portable lighting units to intensify the light. I appreciated the extra light "volume" but it made for some difficult situations. I had to be careful of what I was shooting and from where.

If I got into a certain spot where the subjects were lit from the back and the snow "popped" from the background, I had a small angle of opportunity to make the photograph before the subject would be directly in front of the light bank, rendering the picture unusable. Here is an example.

But the advantages of that crisp outline of the back-lighted trick made up for the inconvenience. Even with the additional light, I had to shoot at a high ISO setting to stop the action but with quality cameras, pixelation didn't seem to be much of a factor.

There were quite a few accidents and I was fortunate to get one of them in pretty good focus. (A little movement blur is seen).

These are some that weren't published. The first, I didn't like because the background was cluttered with advertisements and another photographer.

This didn't work just because he was wearing black - against a black background.

I did like this one quite a bit where he loses a ski but it was redundant with the other crash photo.

And this closeup of snow coming off a board would have been nice but we lacked the publication space to use it.

I've found that most of the time when there are lighting challenges there are lighting rewards.