Main Street at Twilight, 2011

main street in carnegie at twilight
Main Street at Twilight

The first block of East Main Street in Carnegie, PA at dusk.

I have no idea how my little hand-held digital metered the colors like this, but I heartily approve! Honestly, this is not touched up in any way, even though the sky looks as if I either added from another photo, I adjusted the color in that area or I just painted in another sky. The whole thing looks like a movie set.

The time of day was twilight, after the sun dropped below the horizon but still reflected on the sky and the thin overcast of clouds. I know I pointed my focus spot on the darkest area in the scene, way down at the other end of Main Street, the building that is actually on a hill in the next community, and that would have influenced the internal metering especially since the scene looks very bright although it’s only the street lights that provide illumination. I can assure you they are not that bright.

And likely the yellow lights also pushed the complementary blue of the sky a little brighter than it actually was. However it happened, I approve.

This was taken with my little Lumix point and shoot where I have very little control, but the other settings that would have influenced this outcome are two I’ve always set on these little cameras. First, I turn the stabilizer mode, which will help to eliminate blurriness in low-light conditions, to “off” because in these small cameras it simply changes the ASA setting to a higher number. This results in a photo that looks great in your view screen, but when you open it up on your computer it’s completely grainy. I use a tripod, or, as in this case, I find something to set the camera on or press it against and set the shutter for a 2-second timed delay so that everything is as still as it’s going to get when the shutter finally opens.

Second, I set the EV, or exposure value, setting two or three steps below the middle. Most cameras shoot light so that as much light as possible gets into the lens, but you also lose detail in the highlights and I find it doesn’t meter well for images with a lot of contrast, which is usually what attracts me.

So, I guess that’s how this one turned out like this.

This photo is available as a print in my gallery on Fine Art America. I can also prepare a print in a variety of styles and sizes.

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