Midnight on the Sammamish River

Much of the time, it seems that one takes endless pictures without achieving anything that is more than mediocre.  Then one image, often taken without much previsualization or planning, is perfect.  This is one such image.  One night in 1992, I was bicycling at

midnight on the Burke-Gilman Trail along the Sammammish River north of Redmond, Washington.  Mist hung in the still air over the river, and the lights of nearby businesses across the river cast a lacework of light though the thin misty curtains.  I had loaded my 1965 Pentax Spotmatic  with Agfa Optima film, and brought along my 50mm Super-Takumar lens- a vintage lens of superb optical quality.

Fascinated with the play of light, mist and shadow over the river,  I had nothing but a miniature tripod which I strapped to the handlebars of my bicycle, and I guessed at a two minute exposure.  When I went to bracket exposures, I discovered that this was the last frame on the roll.

In this final print, the lights of Redmond create a beautiful dawnlike effect in the east.  The air was still, and the crisp images of the individual grasses attest to both the quality of the Takumar lens and the perfect stillness of the night.  In this case, all the elements came together to create a lovely image.


Rochkind, Marc.  “Marc’s Classic Cameras:  Asahi Pentax Spotmatic- 1964.”  http://basepath.com/Photography/Spotmatic.php.

Wikipedia Article:  “Pentax Spotmatic.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentax_Spotmatic.

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