8.27.2014

Wednesday Window to the World #6


This Week:

What: Operating Neon and Incandescent Sign


Why: It was time for me to follow through on a long deferred project.  I've eyeballed the neon signs along Route 1 for years with the intention of getting some proper night photos of them.  Having received a new film camera (article to be forthcoming), I had the impetus I needed to get out and take some photos of these few remaining old neons.  I took the PEN along largely as a preview medium, but since these came out so well, it was only natural that I spotlight my favorite of the batch.  

When: August 26, 2014.

Where: Beltsville, MD   

Who: You'd think no one.  In fact, moments after taking this photo, I had some woman pop up from out of the nearby sketchy darkness and ask questions on who I was and why I was doing what I was doing.  I chatted with her very briefly, but I was all too glad to fire up the car and roll out of here!   

How: Olympus Pen E-PM2 with Olympus M-Zuiko 14-42 mm Kit Zoom set to 33mm, f/11 at 2.5 seconds.  I tried this with the Olympus Pen-FT 38mm lens as well, but it was producing ghosting of the neon.  Boo.

Raw image was imported into Photoshop and most post production work involved scaling exposure as well as downplaying highlights and bringing out shadow detail.  The result is to me a very well balanced image, even if the incandescent "eyes" are still pretty creepy looking.  Given the creepy vibe of the area, it really does fit.   

All told, this image offers a bit more of a vintage feel than my last attempt.  The modern backlit "Seafood and Crabs" sign and Maryland Lottery logo were just unavoidable, but it seems most elements of a potentially historic looking photo all seem to want to have some sort of modern intrusion to give the game away to the trained eye.