Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Night Scenes

Here is Bolzano, at night. It was an pretty town, but amazingly quiet as soon as the stores closed. Very few restaurants open past 8 or 8:30pm. It's like it's not even Italy! Things are barely getting starting in restaurants around Milan at that time. My colleagues told me that this region is "not really Italy" but I guess I had to live it myself to believe it. It also shows how much we've gotten used to "Italian time" and come to expect certain things to be a certain way. It was a little reminder that's not true! That's what travel does for you, keeps you from getting complacent in how you think the world "is" - you realize that things in the world are a lot more relative than you had come to believe.

I've gotten much more into night photography lately, as this photo attests. Part of it has been the time change, we are out a lot more at night. When we travel in the summer and the days are soooo long - we barely make it to dark and we're done. We aren't wandering at midnight with an 8 year old in tow. :) So, in winter, I find that I've gotten to enjoy taking photos at night of more places. It's cold, but it's nothing some warm clothes and a periodic hot chocolate can't solve.

The other part of the increase in night photography has been this wonderful new 35mm lens I got in December, which has an aperture of a whopping 1.4 and allows me to just get more light into the camera. It has extended the range of light I can use to take photos while still hand holding the camera. It's enough that I tote around my big lenses (2 now!), I'm not interested in carrying a tripod and then setting it up, etc. So this lens does a fabulous job of extending my range at night while still keeping me mobile. It's like a whole new world to photograph!

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