04-12-2013, 04:59 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Mein Auto: E46 M3 CSL
Chapter 8: Night Cruising and Crazy Light-painting
Finnish summer nights are perfect for cruising. The beautiful “golden hour” light must have gotten its name somewhere else, because here in Finland it lasts all night. During June and July, it does not get dark at all. Between sunset and sunrise there is hours of inviting playtime. Somehow, sleeping is not a competitive alternative. We Finns sleep during winter. In the summer, we are too busy.
This summer we did not get to see many noctilucent clouds. There was one night when there was potential for a spectacular display of NLC, but regular clouds came in front and spoiled the show. In fact, I only saw the clouds once and took this photo of them:
This year is going to be a very active year for aurora borealis (the northern lights) and I am hoping to see them (and photograph them) as south as Helsinki. I subscribe to an aurora borealis alert service, so I get an alert in my cell phone when there is substantial activity. A BMW M3 CSL illuminated by northern lights – that is the photograph I want to take!
At midnight, the streets are empty. Many car enthusiasts hear them calling, and it is not unusual to see high-performance tuning cars. For example, I was well and truly out-accelerated by a four-door BMW E30 320i (1987). Later the owner told me his car has twice the horsepower that my CSL has! The city streets are just so incredibly inviting during the light summer nights that I created this photograph as a tribute to the City of Helsinki:
The text is actually over 4 meters (13ft) high, and it is drawn with my latest creation: a computer-controlled LED light rig. Now I can draw whatever shapes I want. So the text is really there in the picture, drawn during a long exposure of 57 seconds, and there is no digital manipulation or Photoshop.
With the LED rig, I can draw abstract art like this:
Or I can draw text and logos. I really wish BMW AG would get interested in this; I would love to draw them a commercial picture using this technology!
This picture has already appeared in this thread before, but here it is again, just to show how wonderful the powerdome shape of the M3 hood is, when it is illuminated with the LEDs:
Those warm summer nights are also an opportunity to explore the city. The Port of Helsinki was moved to a new location, so the old port is being completely transformed and it will have homes for 20,000 people. The entire area is now under construction and from the point of view of urban photography, it is a treasure! I shot probably 10 days there during the summer of 2012.
A futuristic steel underpass at the old port area:
Same location as above, but from a more beautiful angle. She is Pauliina:
And she is Anna:
One more LED art picture to finish. No digital picture manipulation or Photoshop! I took this on 26 October 2012, right after midnight, and four hours later it started to snow and the winter came.
Thanks for reading!