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Mill Mountain Park By Night

By night, Mill Mountain Park lights up.  For one thing, the famous Roanoke Star lights up, and is visible throughout the city.  Additionally, white lighting illuminates a flag outside the Mill Mountain Park Discovery Center.  And finally, orange-colored security lighting comes on throughout the park for safety purposes.

It is this orange security lighting that becomes the point of interest in this photo set.  When I got Big Mavica in November 2002, I got a lot of new capabilities.  Among other things, I got manual exposure control and laser focus, which opened the door to night photography.  Previously, my opportunities for outdoor photography ended when the sun went down.  My flash was not very effective, and even then, less-than-optimal lighting tended to confuse the camera’s focus.  With Big Mavica, I could set nice, long exposures, to bring the night to life in clear, focused imagery.  With this photo set, I present Mill Mountain Park and the City of Roanoke all lit up at night, in all their glory, as the areas take on a whole new ambiance…


By day, it's an ordinary payphone.  By night, an island of communication in a sea of light and dark.

By day, it’s an ordinary payphone.  By night, an island of communication in a sea of light and dark.


The road to the Mill Mountain Zoo glows in a bright orange color, with the Wildflower Garden shrouded in darkness.

The road to the Mill Mountain Zoo glows in a bright orange color, with the Wildflower Garden shrouded in darkness.


Shrubbery stands tall on the perimeter of the park, easily seen against the darkened sky.

Shrubbery stands tall on the perimeter of the park, easily seen against the darkened sky.


The cement paths of the day, now lit up, present a more intimate mood than that found during daylight.

The cement paths of the day, now lit up, present a more intimate mood than that found during daylight.


The trash receptacles, with the city beyond, normally a green color, appear brown by night...

The trash receptacles, with the city beyond, normally a green color, appear brown by night…

The trash receptacles, with the city beyond, normally a green color, appear brown by night...


The city beyond the park glows brightly...

The city beyond the park glows brightly…

The city beyond the park glows brightly...  The city beyond the park glows brightly...


The ground itself around the sidewalks glows brightly, but nonetheless lending a border between the sidewalk and the grass.

The ground itself around the sidewalks glows brightly, but nonetheless lending a border between the sidewalk and the grass.


Down the mountain, the light gradually trails off.

Down the mountain, the light gradually trails off.


At the Discovery Center, the lighting intended for the American flag outside lends an interesting effect to the building, lighting it in yellow below, and in white above.

At the Discovery Center, the lighting intended for the American flag outside lends an interesting effect to the building, lighting it in yellow below, and in white above.


Lighting around the parking lot in front of the Discovery Center lends a star-shaped glow...

Lighting around the parking lot in front of the Discovery Center lends a star-shaped glow…


The trees lend almost a ghostly appearance, standing guard around the park.

The trees lend almost a ghostly appearance, standing guard around the park.

The trees lend almost a ghostly appearance, standing guard around the park.


While the sidewalks are well-lit, the observation deck in the background is lit only enough to provide safety, but not enough to inhibit the ability to see the city below.

While the sidewalks are well-lit, the observation deck in the background is lit only enough to provide safety, but not enough to inhibit the ability to see the city below.


The lighting truly goes right up to the platform!

The lighting truly goes right up to the platform!


A random dark area on the path... wonder what awaits?

A random dark area on the path… wonder what awaits?

A random dark area on the path... wonder what awaits?


The observation deck affords patrons a wide view of the City of Roanoke below.

The observation deck affords patrons a wide view of the City of Roanoke below.


Above the lighting, the mystery of the night hangs overhead...

Above the lighting, the mystery of the night hangs overhead…


Sliding down the hill, the trees mark the park's boundary...

Sliding down the hill, the trees mark the park’s boundary…


Picnic, anyone?

Picnic, anyone?


Such a scenic view - especially so at night!

Such a scenic view – especially so at night!


Shadows and the contrast between light and dark make nighttime photography all the more interesting...

Shadows and the contrast between light and dark make nighttime photography all the more interesting…


Looking down from the observation deck, downtown Roanoke is alive and well, and traffic is flowing along Interstate 581.

Looking down from the observation deck, downtown Roanoke is alive and well, and traffic is flowing along Interstate 581.


While I was photographing in the park, a couple came and had a seat on the picnic bench on the observation deck.  The couple sat completely motionless on the deck, enjoying the scenery below, as well as each other's company.

While I was photographing in the park, a couple came and had a seat on the picnic bench on the observation deck.  The couple sat completely motionless on the deck, enjoying the scenery below, as well as each other’s company.

While I was photographing in the park, a couple came and had a seat on the picnic bench on the observation deck.  The couple sat completely motionless on the deck, enjoying the scenery below, as well as each other's company.


Lastly, the stone gate in front of the Wildflower Garden allows a glimpse into the darkness...

Lastly, the stone gate in front of the Wildflower Garden allows a glimpse into the darkness…

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