Photographing Lightscape

Helping more people make memorable images

I had the unique opportunity to experience Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the winter of 2022. Working as a guide several nights a week of the run of the exhibition I discovered unique vantage points and techniques to make memorable images for myself and encouraged many visitors to look at the BBG in new ways. When I could I helped visitors take home images of themselves they would have missed, and I explored many vantage points that most visitors missed with my camera.

For the 2023 run I would like to help others see all that can be seen and discover the many sides of this complex collection of art.

Through the power of computational photography that recent model cell phones produce it is possible for almost anyone to capture the best of Lightscape, and go beyond the common images, with a little guidance. Traditional cameras just can't make the same images, though they do have the advantages of better optics, and interchangeable lenses. This year I hope to have the opportunity to investigate how to get the most out of DSLR and mirrorless cameras as well.

There was more than one Lightscape I experienced. In the rain it was very different from a dry night. Busy nights, and not so busy nights, presented different opportunities to make images. Early in the evening with the twilight looked different from late at night. And the Moon, Jupiter, Mars, and Venus put on a show as they moved across the sky each night the clouds cooperated.

Possibly the best tips I shared with visitors was to look behind them, look for locations where some light source lit them up for a selfie or group photo, and to turn off night mode on their cameras and adjust exposures before making a photo.