Night Moves

I have a day job with a 70-minute commute.  This means that any weekday cycling during the winter months must be done during hours of darkness.  Previous to the acquisition of my new camera, night photography was almost impossible.  If I had a great deal of light and a tripod, I could pull it off with adequate results (thus the Christmas Light Hunt post two weeks ago).  Now I have the ability to take better photos without needing to lug a tripod around with me.  Below are some pics from last night’s very cold (28 degrees) but otherwise unremarkable 16-mile ride:

I traveled eastward toward I-95 and took this pic on the bridge over the highway.  I like the way the headlamp illuminates a circle on the sidewalk.


There are still a great many houses displaying their Christmas lights.  Since last night was only the “9th Day of Christmas” I suppose this is appropriate.  And no, I did not give my True Love nine ladies dancing.  I suspect we’ll be seeing lights well into late January.


Our final shot was taken about half a mile from my house on a pathway linking the neighborhoods of Montclair and Lake Terrapin.


I was happy to get home and out of the cold.  I had no near misses with cars and encountered only one jogger (who smartly was wearing flashing lights) and one pedestrian without incident.  Always a plus!


22 thoughts on “Night Moves

  1. Whaough … and I find my 45-minute commute wearing. Good on you to ride after work. I’ll ride in cold, but cold and dark …. can’t do it. Verrry nice pics, I’ve never tried night photos.

  2. Wow, those are excellent night shots. I’ve been reading about how much improved digital sensors are getting at the extreme edge of their range. Your Camera has a maximum iso of 3200 and optical image stabilization. My ten year old 10D has 3200 but the pictures are full of noise and artifacts. Pretty amazing how much better the technology is now.

    • You’re a lot smarter on camera gear than I, Matt. One feature which I think is cool (and which I used last night) is a “point and shoot” function for night photography. Instead of taking a single picture with a long lens opening, the camera takes several pictures in quick succession with a fast opening and then “knits” those pictures together. Since the opening for any one picture is relatively fast, there is little blurring due to moving the camera. It’s much nicer than having to use a tripod.

    • Good idea. My challenge will be to get those creatures to pose for photographs. They are quite skittish by nature. I usually only am aware of their presence by the rustling noises they create as they disappear into the brush. I shall work on my “quick draw” skills and endeavor to get a picture of one!

  3. Good to read your post, and enjoyed the pictures, my commute by bicycle is approximately 20 miles each way. This time of year, it means cycling in the pitch black in and again back, it’s mostly on a quiet back road. I only have a mobile phone camera, so I can’t take shots in the dark, but I’d love to. I occasionally see, but mostly hear owls in the early hours of my rides. I must say I enjoy the solitude of these rides.

    • I am familiar with the concept of a “quiet back road.” I’ve seen them in movies, read about them in books, and vaguely recall a day in which I lived far from DC and could actually see one in person. Maybe one day I’ll get back there. For now, I share the evening roads with hundreds of thousands of commuters.

  4. By the way, I love the changing banner on your site. Very cool idea! Another worthy of theft from me. (have you noticed ALL my cool blog ideas are stolen from you?)

  5. Happy New Year Steve and safe pedalling! Love the pics, especially that top pic – really good composition and lighting. Those paths look in very good condition. You should see what rain and floods have done to the trails around here in Gloucestershire, England!! 🙂 Suffice to say a lot of repairs required but I doubt they’ll be done before the winter’s out. Makes every ride interesting, to say the least! 🙂

    • You have to pick your routes, Jan, but if you choose wisely you can find some paths that are in great shape. If we get some snow, things will get very interesting as absolutely no attempt will be made to clear them.

      • No, it cannot! My morning commute from Fall to Spring is in the dark. About the only advantage that I can tell is that I can see the cars coming before they are getting too close. Congrats on the new camera. Good night shots!

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