Author: Public Record Office Victoria

Main Street, Stawell by night

Main Street Stawell by night VPRS 3457/P0, Unit 101 Photographer W.J. Chapman

This photograph of the Main Street in Stawell comes from a series that has recently been digitised and will soon be accessible online. The photos in the series feature local figures and landmark buildings, but for me it is the photos taken at night that really stand out. They are great examples of night photography and there is so much you can learn from them.

What are some photography tips that we can pick up from these photos?

  • 1)  Pack a tripod as exposure times at night are very long. If you don’t have a tripod, try to find something flat and stable to rest your camera on such as a street bench. A shutter release cable is also handy to reduce camera shake.
  • 2) Use available light. Look for street lamps, lit up signs or windows to help bring your photo to life.
  • 3) Experiment with different angles. The photographer has made use of a diminishing perspective in this photo, where buildings in the foreground appear larger than buildings in the distance. The diagonal lines also help to add interest to the composition.
  • 4) Venture out at night – the mood and drama created by night photography is completely different to anything taken in the daytime.

If you are interested in more examples of night photography, the State Records NSW has some stunning examples, such as this one of the Sydney Harbour Bridge illuminated at night. Look out for the Stawell series of photos appearing online soon!

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