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A night on the town, whatever the weather

Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club welcomed Richard Sercombe as their guest speaker and the timing could not have been better. With the seemingly never-ending wet weather and long, dark evenings, members were in need of some inspiration for their photography. Thankfully Richard’s talk on Urban Night Photography was aimed at getting people out and about at night on a journey through the cities to look at the opportunities available in urban street settings.

© Richard Sercombe
© Richard Sercombe

Richard, who is a member of the Exeter Camera Club, explained that his best times are out on the streets at dusk, where the street lighting is predictable and offers strong shadows, adding an interesting aspect to an otherwise unpromising scene in day time.

He also advocated that the most unfavourable weather conditions, such as heavy rain, can actually enhance the texture of cobbles on the streets and reflect light trails from the vehicles on the road.

Richard has travelled all over the world to fulfil his passion of photographing breath-taking architecture and cityscapes in places like London (One New Change rooftop terrace overlooking St Paul’s Cathedral); Valencia (City of Arts and Sciences architectural complex); Cleveland, Ohio (The Rock and Roll Museum); the gritty side streets of St Petersburg; and downtown Shanghai. Although, he admitted that unexpected locations, such as the sheltered walkway between the Sainsbury’s store and car park in Bude, can also provide a strong, graphic image when photographed at night and converted to black and white.

The long exposures needed for night photography also provide the opportunity to use a torch to ‘paint’ an object or structure, effectively making it possible to see details that are lost to the naked eye at night.

Richard also explained that some of his photographs were the result of multiple images which had been photo-stacked in the editing process in order to give the photographs light and detail in all the important places.

Grateful thanks were given to Richard for his illuminating talk on urban night photography and several members were already pencilling in places to go and photograph at night as soon as Covid restrictions are eased.

Dawlish & Teignmouth Camera Club are continuing to meet on Zoom on Wednesday evenings – new members are always welcome. If you are interested, please visit

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