During my night photography class I took some lucky shots of reflections off the river in downtown Milwaukee. I returned a week or so later and discovered that getting interesting photos was more difficult than I thought. On that second night it was very windy and I attributed my relative lack of success to the wind and to a great deal of traffic on the river.
Apparently not the case. It seemed just as difficult when I returned the other night, even though it wasn't nearly as breezy or busy. The problem was with the length of the exposure. Anything longer that 1/2 second seemed to create reflection patterns that were too dense. To reduce exposure times, I found myself opening up the aperture as far as it would go, underexposing by one or two f-stops, and even increasing the ISO rating.
I took nearly 100 shots and wound up keeping only about 10. Even so, I liked some of the shots quite a lot, my favorite being the one at the top of this post. It really makes a great abstract.
I did take, and keep, some wider angle shots . . .
including one featuring a boat that was churning up the water.
However, most of the keepers involved close-up abstracts, such as the following:
This latter shot involved two different light sources. A close look reveals that the red reflections are solid but the yellow are intermittent. I really have not figured out what causes the loopy patterns generally. My guess as to the intermittent patterns is that they involve lights that are pulsating rapidly, but I don't really know.
Here is another shot that I like quite a lot.
And here are a couple of shots of smaller reflections.
For the record, these were shot at f/4.5 for 1/2 second, underexposed 2 f-stops, with an ISO rating of 320. Again, I have no clue what is creating the doodle-like swirls in the reflections.
As I was taking all of these shots, seemingly by randomly shooting into the river, a fellow came up to me and asked what I was taking pictures of. I had a hard time explaining that I was taking photos of reflections off the water. I showed him a couple of the images on my camera. I don't think he was impressed.