The Duchess at Night

The Duchess

This is the Duchess, one of the boats of the Gateway Clipper Fleet in Pittsburgh. As I was leaving an event the other night, there she was, reflected in water behind the dock, near the shore where the surface ripples are gentle and fairly large. Those yellow party lights give it a carnival atmosphere and gently light objects around the boat.

There was a very bright spotlight on the top deck, though, and it not only threw off my light metering, but it was so bright that it was distorted and hazy and reflected too brightly on the surface of the water. No matter how I tried to tame it down, it would have no taming, being painfully bright even when I looked at it in my view screen on the back of the camera.

So I edged over until it was behind the docking station and pressed my camera against the uprights of the little walkway that carried us over the channel behind the dock, and there was this photo.

Night photography is a favorite of mine. The contrast of bright and colored lights against the darkness is so visually appealing, and the patterns of light and dark change a familiar landscape into an entirely new world.

Just add water and you have another element to add to the illusion, reflections distorted and broken apart by even the slightest movement in the water.

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