CC Outtake: The Long, Long Night

What’s a Curbsider to do when the days rapidly become shorter and workdays extend far beyond sunset? If you’re like me, you don’t let a lack of daylight stand in your way. There are plenty of classic numbers out there to challenge you while the rest of the city slumbers.

Night shooting is a challenge. I have nowhere near the scope of equipment to do really great night photography, like my friend Patrick. Without such equipment you really can’t shoot the comprehensive set of photos you could during daylight hours. Still, I’ve been lucky enough to capture increasingly better night shots since I started practicing in November, including this Beetle.

I also should invest in a tripod for Christmas. Since I rely on using whatever lighting is available, it takes a while to capture an image. I never knew how unsteady my hand was until I started shooting at night.

In a way, night shooting is more exhilarating than capturing cars during the day. At night there are unique moments of opportunity, as when the headlamps of passing cars accentuate certain elements of even the most common classic, providing highlights you might otherwise have overlooked.

On the other hand, it’s cold and often wet outside, and sometimes a matter of trial and error. Many  times I’ve walked away in disappointment that certain angles aren’t sufficiently lit to shoot; in fact, It’ll be a long time before anything I shoot after dark will become the subject of a full-on CC. Luckily, this 1962 Dynamic 88 keeps night watch at Children’s Hospital Oakland. I’ll be back to practice on it.

Meanwhile, I rely on solid ground to make sure I get at least one usable image out of the 12-to-15 shots I attempt while steadying the camera with my hands, on trashcans or on my car. Wish me luck as I slip into the cover of night over the next few months!