Recap of Harrisburg Rooftop Fieldtrip

On Sunday November 14th in Harrisburg

A large group of Harrisburg Camera Club members and prospective members gathered on the corner of 2nd and Locust Streets at 1:00.  The goal was to capture the afternoon light and shadows that were cast upon the buildings and streets of Harrisburg.  The weather and the skies cooperated with warm temperatures and clean, deep blue skies.   The exceptional conditions warranted trips to the rooftops of the parking garages.  The gathering of 22 photographers, led by trip leader and instructor Andrew Hoff, filed down to the first garage with Woody and Annette Garthwaite hustling to catch up with the group.  Our first destination was the roof of the Penn National Ins. Co. garage.  Andy emphasized the use of light and shadow to build depth into the image, compressing distance with long lenses to make a more dynamic picture and working to create a coherent image from the jumble of rooftops and windows.  After an hour we departed to the roof of the Walnut Street Parking Garage for a different view over the city.   Emphasis was placed on underexposing the image to correctly expose the bright areas and letting the dark areas black.  This gives the strong contrast need for a dynamic image.  Andy also made a point of having tripods help make better images.

After another hour, the group that was spread across the roof was gather back together and headed for the River Street Parking Garage. The sky was now starting to cloud up and the strong shafts of light faded away.  The river shimmered to silver opening up opportunities to photograph backlight bikes and walkers along Riverfront Park for those whom had long lenses. We spent less time at the River St garage to get into position to photograph at sunset from the Market St. garage across from the Harrisburg Hospital.

A common theme with every garage rooftop was the various flocks of pigeons that flow across the city.  At each garage attempts were made to capture the packs of pigeons that flew off, around or over the tallest buildings.  The birds were not the most cooperative subjects.  At the last rooftop Andy emphasized the use of manipulating the color controls in the camera to bring out more reds in the late light or resetting the camera white balance to warm the image.  We stayed past sunset hoping that the popcorn clouds would turn pink and lavender, but it just didn’t happen.  Thanks to all that came for the enlightening experience.

All photos provided by Tom Mulder