Feb Photo 26 – Night
To some people, night-time is a time best experienced inside, rugged up in front of the heater or open fire, and definitely not to venture outside for photos. However, I see night-time as an amazing time to go and get photos, or simply to be outside and observing. Once night has fallen, it can be a completely different world out there. Lights, atmosphere, the lack of office workers. Amazing things happen after nightfall.
I see a few people out each evening, watching the sunset at the beach or from another good vantage point, only to leave as soon as the sun has gone below the horizon; night-time has almost set in, so they feel they need to be indoors. So many beautiful natural experiences are missed even in the first hour of the evening.
People go about their daily business, working for “the man”, and doing all of the things that people do during the day. Pay the bills, dress in a suit for work, crunching numbers, pushing papers, shopping, banking etc. At night, however, these things take a back seat, and people tend to let their hair down and relax a bit. People enjoy the evenings more, as its generally when they can see their loved ones, their friends and simply be themselves.
As some people enjoy simply being at home on the couch, staying warm, or in the case of Summer, eating ice-cream like a crazy ice-cream-eating person, others enjoy getting out, socialising, going to a bar, a restaurant, or even simply a walk with a friend.
To some, night-time is a cold, boring time, consisting of fog, cold toes and silence, to others it means lights, people, excitement, action and even glamour.
Some cities tend not to quiet down or even sleep until the small hours of the morning, only to start-up again a mere three hours later for the next days business. Melbourne only has a few hours of sleep in the CBD core, and even then, there are some restless corners that operate throughout the night, however NYC is renowned as “The City That Never Sleeps”. I can vouch for this, from my time there.
In New York, we could have a hot meal cooked in a restaurant at 1am, McDonald’s at 4am, One night I couldn’t sleep, I left the hotel on my own, walked to Times Square (only one block away) and bought a Slurpee at 7-11, and watched a live concert. at 3am. with other people all around me. I really liked that aspect of New York; the ability to do whatever, whenever, and not seem ‘weird’. If I wanted to walk the streets at 3am, I was not considered ‘strange’ or ‘threatening’, and not only that, the city would put on a concert for people just like myself.
This nightlife activity does not only exist in the human species, of course. There are many nocturnal animals that live most of their waking lives under the cover of night. Australia has its Possums, friendly to anyone bearing food, but will potentially eat your finger if you tease them… I prefer the insect world. 90% of the small critters in our neck of the woods are nocturnal. So much happens at night, and most people do not even realise it.
Recently, we had a Garden Orb-Weaving Spider (Eriophora biapicata) that set up home near our front door. It wasn’t hurting anyone, it’s web didn’t block the way, so I allowed it to stay there; observing and photographing it on a few separate occasions. During the day, she was usually found curled up, sleeping, but seeming almost dead. Nothing would move her from her little nook in the eaves of the house. At night, however, she would be hard at work, repairing the web from the day’s assault, caused by small insects, moths, mosquitos, and even the occasional bee. Every night, hard at work, working the night-shift of the arachnid world. This is when I would photograph her, getting incredibly close, as you can see in the photos. I was perhaps only 1-2cm from her, and yet she remained still, allowing me to photograph her underbody.
I tend to get more work done during the evening, and well into the night. My design work is often completed post-midnight, as are my sketches, paintings, writing, photography, web design and music recordings. It is the hour when there are no disturbances. My phone is usually silent, no one is knocking on my door to sell me cheap electricity, there is nothing on TV, and there is no outside disturbances from traffic, people, or even birds. The world sleeps, so a few people stand guard, and usually get things done.
Night time is my productive time.