Most people would take a rainy, windy, night as an opportunity to have a night on the couch in front of the tube. But I like to shoot photos, and I think the rain at night time provides a wonderful opportunity to get out and capture something different. I like night photography a lot, particularly the colours of artificial light and how different this light looks bouncing off reflective surfaces. Illuminations as my wife would say.

My location tonight was a simple one – Jones Bay Wharf. I once took refuge there having been caught out in a storm at the end of a night ride. After catching my breath I noticed the way the wharf caught the night lights and how the rain came through the gaps in the upper deck. I thought to myself that I would have to come back and shoot this with the SLR should the same conditions arise. Tonight presented that opportunity, though I think I lucked out on not receiving a more torrential downpour. What I was hoping to capture was streaks of light bouncing off the rain as it trailed down from the grates. But I got slightly different conditions, and a subject conveniently parked for my point of focus. All the images click through to my larger photos on Flickr.

Rainy Night on Jones Bay Wharf 1

I was hoping for the pale yellow opening to provide the showering from the grate, but the rain had eased up by the time I got there. The motorcycle was positioned perfectly, and I think the older styling suited the aging of the wharf’s skeletal structure.

So this was not quite the photo that I had been planning for. But I thought to maximise the situation, and shoot a few more photos for the evening. I went up a bit further and took the shot in reverse looking back the way I had come, still placing the motorcycle as the focal point. I like this shot better.

Rainy Night on Jones Bay Wharf 2

I prefer the colours exposed by the night lights cast against the stone cutting in the distance, but also the concrete colours of the wall and even the red bin cover. It all adds a bit of depth to the shot, and better reflects the varied activities that occur on the wharf.

So that was the location, but I wanted to get one last shot in. I started walking back to the car and then remembered that the wharf platform would be soaked, offering a perfect mirror to the night lights. I also knew well that I could probably find a location with the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the background. Here is the shot, and it offered a good mix of lighting in the cloudy sky, strong diagonals, and a bit of colour thrown into the mix. I am happy with this third one too.

Rainy Night on Jones Bay Wharf 3

I will have to come back to this location when it is properly raining. Here is the location on Google Maps, it is my local area and within easy walking distance from the city.

Jones Bay Wharf - Google Maps Location

I will work on the cropping and exposure settings for next time. I didn’t wash any of the photos through Photoshop, other than the first to correct some of the vertical perspective via the crop tool. Focussing in the dark was challenging as well, and maybe I could extend the depth of field for the shots. I would love to hear from other photographers on how they would shoot the locations differently. Looking forward to the next spontaneous shooting opportunity.

Next clue for my header photo – the building is named after an ex-European Head of State from the late 60s to mid 70s. Time to giddy up and hit the sack.