I was brought up in a big city (Montreal) and I remember so well as a little girl the rare times when I was coming home with my parents late at night in the winter (had we been perhaps visiting a friend or relative?) in the back seat of our car. My mother sat with me, I remember and I was cuddled into her side against her warm soft coat of some kind of fur, smelling her perfume and hearing her soft voice. The car was warm though it was wintry cold outside. From that feeling of sleepy, comfortable love and security I would watch the city lights below me as we drove across the top of Mount Royal. I would wait for the sweep of the searchlight on the top of the mountain as it made its way back around the dark sky time after time. Though this was very long ago now, still, the lights of a city always bring back some of that same feeling.
This was taken during our visit to the city of Québec.
This fountain, drained for the winter was standing alone in front of the distant lights of the buildings and the wall, silhouetted and silent. Somehow this fountain symbolized the preparation for hibernation that was coming. Walking alone at night and keeping your eyes open will allow the city to share these quiet places with a visitor.
Québec city at night is an impression of lights on colours on textures on curves and deepening shadows. These lend a rich warmth and mystery to the bitter winter cold of the deserted night streets. Deserted, that is, except for another photographer, lit by the street lamp, equally captivated by the mystery of the shadowy gardens to the side of this street. Je me souviens – I remember – the nights of this beautiful city, Québec.
Spending a long, very rainy and stormy night in an airport with your camera has its benefits. The observation lounge was dark and quiet and gave a great view of the activity on the tarmac after midnight. Everything takes on an other-worldly look – the planes seem like toys with unnaturally bright lights and smooth toy plane like shapes.
I always take my camera with me when I know I am going into the city. Who am I kidding? I take my camera with me whenever and wherever I go, because… you never know what you might see. In the city, at night though, I am fascinated by the lights and the moving traffic and as always I like to play to create effects that will give the feeling of the motion and the excitement you get in that environment.
I remember when, as a little girl, I was sitting on the back seat of the car, leaning against my mother, watching the city lights as we drove through the streets of Montreal at night. When we were on the mountain, the lights below were specially beautiful. Even now, I recall those moments vividly every time I see city lights.
I loved the colours of this one, taken on Sunday night. It really gave me the feeling that I was hoping to convey of a city at night. It is such a sharp contrast from the peaceful country night, lit by stars and moon, moving through the sky with a quiet dignity and grace.