Night photography: Blue blobs and a walk on a wet downtown sidewalk

I’d seen the technique in an online gallery of night photography, and I’d had a hankering to try it out myself. The idea is to shoot through a window on a rainy night (you’re on the inside), focusing the shot on the rain droplets on the window and blurring the lights outside in the background of the shot.

Of course, you need some rain in order to attempt this technique (I guess you could hose down your window, but that sorta seems like cheating). So it can be a little tricky to find an occasion to give it a shot. But recently a rainy, misty evening blew through Fargo, and I headed downtown with my camera and into The Forum building to see what I could get. Here are the results:

Click on this image for a larger view.

(Above) This is looking to the west from inside the Forum building.The blurry, blue objects in the background are trees decorated with Christmas lights. I really like the rustic, warm light above the center tree and its reflection below. I do wish I the water drops on the window would have come out more defined.

Click on this image for a larger view.

(Above) This is another shot of those lit-up trees (a couple of them, anyway) through a window. The water droplets came out much more defined on this one, but the scene through the window isn’t a eye-pleasing (I don’t think). So, I’d like to try it again and see if I can get both of those aspects to work at the same time.

(Below) On that same night, I got a photo that may become one of my favorites. I set up my tripod on a sidewalk that runs from The Forum building toward and past the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo and aimed my camera west. The rain made the street and walkway come alive with colors and lights, all of which was set against the contrasting blacks, dark grays and browns of evening in the city. A blurred pedestrian and some streaks of color from a passing vehicle also add points of interest as does the burst of brightness from a streetlamp. It seems to me to have a classic, Impressionistic feel (although the forms are mostly well-defined).

(Hope you enjoyed the images. Let me know what you think. My email is You can see more of my images here.)