Normally, there is only one source of  illumination that matters to me as a photographer. (Hint: Rises in the East, sets in the West).

Though occasionally I do rely on other, artificial, sources of illumination while making my photographs.

The Cocheco Mill Building in downtown Dover, NH. The bright blue-white spotlight on the tower shining brightly, a mirror image of the building reflected in the glass smooth water above the waterfalls. Numerous widows are lit from within in this long brick structure.


Cocheco Mill, Dover, NH.

Five hot air balloons, at the Pittsfield, NH Hot Air Balloon Rally, glow from within at the Rallies Night Glow. The balloon pilots light off the burners in the evening, after the sun goes down, to give the balloons a beautiful internal glow.



“Night Glow” at the Pittsfield, NH Hot Air Balloon Rally


40 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

    1. It used to be a textile mill back in the day. Now there are a few very nice restaurants, several businesses, and I’m told some higher end apartments are coming soon.

        1. Then you’d be right at home here in New England. I don’t think there is a town/city on a river if any size that doesn’t have a bunch of these old mill buildings. In fact, this is just one of three right on this river in Dover. The woman who does all my framing has her studio in one of the other ones. Artist space is also a popular use for these buildings I’ve found.

    1. Thank you Cindy. This is one of those places I have walked or driven by countless times. Once I started in photography I would walk/drive by it thinking “that would make a great photograph.” yet I never bothered, instead opting to head to the mountains or the seacoast. Last year I finally got around to it 🙂

    1. Thanks! These are from two years ago. Last year I didn’t get any photos I was happy with. If the air is too cool they can’t run the burners for too long, or the balloons want to lift off. So it was really hard to get multiple balloons glowing all at the same time because they were firing them up for such a short time. And Then they had to let them cool for longer than usual between burns. It wasn’t a total loss though, I did get to ride in a helicopter, something I’ve always wanted to do!

    1. It’s even more beautiful in person! And if the conditions are right, like they were on this night, it’s even more spectacular when they have close to a dozen lit all at the same time.

    1. Thank you Paula. I had to stop down more than normal for me, f16 I think to get just the right look to the lights. Then I played around in post to accentuate them a little more.

        1. Not at all. The star-burst effect is the result of using a smaller aperture, nothing more. The more you stop down the lens, the more pronounced the effect. Stopping down too much can have adverse affects on image quality though, so I try to find a happy medium.

  1. Such a cool shot Jeff ~ the balloons have such warm glow. Lighting must be perfect, or you know just how to achieve it with external flash? Oh ~ yes – you asked about my new camera — just getting to know it a little bit – but it’s a Canon DSLR Rebel T3i ~ someone thought I needed to own it 🙂 also have an additional zoom lens ~ but really would like a wide angle one – -though lugging around all the gear is really not good form me. Little by little I’ll learn though ~ Are you familiar with this model camera? Enjoyed my tour of all your latest work tonight ~ you are so very talented !! ~ RL

    1. Actually Robyn, all the lighting on, or more correctly in, the balloons came from the balloons themselves. The most challenging part about this shot was getting all the balloons while they were all lit at the same time. A remote release and a tripod were also used, both of which I never leave home without, though the cameras self timer will work too.

      Congrats on the new camera! I’m not terribly familiar with the T3i, but I do know it is an excellent camera. And as a Canon shooter myself, welcome to the family 🙂

      I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your evening stroll through my photos. You’re more than welcome to stop by any time.

      1. 🙂 Thanks Jeff ~ is remote release a remote for the shutter so you can be away from the camera and click?
        I have all kinds of technical books and a good friend who is a professor and professional photographer ~ just have to decide when to get into the nitty gritty of it all… still want it to be more “fun” than anything else — your photos are inspiring though ~ probably some the tops here on WP I’ve seen ~ Will come over again ~ or add as a follow so I don’t miss anything 🙂 ~

        1. Thank you for the compliment 🙂

          A remote release is a wired remote that pugs into the side of the camera. It’s biggest benefit is as an aid towards sharper photographs. Basically it enables you to press the shutter without actually touching the camera, and inducing sharpness robbing camera movement. Of course the camera should be mounted on a tripod for the best results. There are wireless ones available I believe, so you could in fact trigger the camera from a little more distance. The wired ones are only about 2 1/2-3ft long.

          I hope that helps.

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