Photography is all about natural light. Mid-day light is the worst. Sunrise and Sunset is the best. Of course that means I will have to accommodate the timetable of the sun, the sun will not accommodate me. My God what is that noise? Make it stop! Oh, that’s right; I said “yes” when we agreed to meet Andy at 4:30 a.m. It’s the alarm making the horrid noise insisting I get up. Maybe we just should have gone clubbing and stayed up all night.
We step from the lobby out into the dark. Last night this softly lit street was charming and romantic. Now it looks foreboding and dangerous. Out of the darkness, three young men wearing soccer jerseys approach us. At this time of the morning, they have a sinister appearance even though one of them is singing. The other two are slapping each other on the back. We cross to the other side and quickly walk a few streets over to our appointed meeting place. I find myself looking back over my shoulder.
We stand on corner and share the tight circle of light at the base of the street lamp. Nothing left to do but stare into the darkness and look for Andy’s headlights.
Twin beams of light shine along the face of the building across from us. There he is! After what seemed like an eternity, his toy car appears from around the corner. How did he fit his large frame into that tiny car? We, too, now squeeze inside. I listen from the back seat as Andy and Terry talk about the morning sky. We are graced with a sky streaked with clouds, just the right ingredient for dramatic photos.
The car comes to a stop. We begin our walk down a wide gravel path to the harbor lined with stately iron street lamps. Our three shadows dance in the pre-dawn yellow light.
Terry came specifically to work on long exposure photography. I’m working to improve my compositions. Long exposure work is over my head. While Andy and Terry worked on the technical business, I went off to explore the pier adjacent to the base of the bridge.
I found a Portuguese fisherman and used his silhouette against the brilliant morning sky. The colors are untouched. The sky burned red, gold, pink, blue and cream.
As you can see, Terry understood the concept of the long exposure perfectly and his image of the bridge at sunrise is just stunning.
The three of us now head out to wander the streets of Lisbon. Terry is taking “panning” shots of street cars. The backgrounds are perfectly blurred and the street car is in focus. Where did we get the energy? It must be the excitement of taking good photographs.
We decide to take a mid-day break and met up again later that evening to take photographs at dusk. In a different part of the harbor, using the same bridge and the contemporary art museum as backgrounds we go to work. Terry’s photographs are high styled and I got down to ground level to capture an evening runner.
Andy has set the bar pretty high for the next photographer we work with in Dublin. I will still be taking “point and shoot” vacation shots, but will now be concentrating on some “Andy” shots as well.
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