Nightly Night Photo – James Buchanan Duke Statue at Twilight

I find that college campuses make great locations for night photography. Many universities have interesting architectural elements, both in the buildings and common areas. There’s always some piece of artwork, statue, or historical structure to shoot.

The most famous spot at Duke University other than Coach K Court is Duke University Chapel, a Gothic masterpiece constructed in the 1930s. On the chapel’s lawn stands the statue of James B. Duke, the wealthy tobacco magnate and Duke University’s benefactor. 

James B. Duke statue at twilight

James B. Duke statue at Duke University. Nikon D700, Nikon 14-24mm lens, f/11, ISO 200, 3-shot HDR blend.

I was careful to frame the scene so that the statue was in open sky and did not merge with the surrounding trees. The presence of Venus was pure luck. I knew the planet was going to be shining in the twilight sky, but I was lucky that it happened to be in a good position for this shot.

Oh, let me clarify a bit on colleges being good locations for night photography. It’s probably better to say that they are good for early-morning photography. Between around 4am and 5 minutes before the start of first class, you can have the grounds all to yourself. You know what the students are doing then.

For most of the night, however, you probably don’t want to be shooting around campus unless you’re into nocturnal wildlife photography!

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