I saw the school earlier in the day and knew that I wanted to use it as my Photo of the Day.
But not now, I told myself. Later, after the sun sets.
I live only about five minutes away. A very short drive from one of Barrhaven's most-recognizable landmarks. The 1906 public school is probably one of the oldest structures in the area.
I wondered if it was lit up at night. Though I've driven past it countless times, I've never noticed it after dark, so perhaps, I told myself, it wasn't.
The last time I tried to shoot a darkened building at night, I used the headlights of my vehicle to illuminate it. It wasn't the best solution, but it worked.
Ironically, it was an old school, too.
I headed out just after 8, an hour or so after the sun had set. The school, now a community centre, was not lit up. I pulled up to the entrance, positioned my car toward the front door, and set up my equipment.
The shot was awful. Only the building below the red brick was illuminated and the front door was totally washed out. Because the roadway on which I was stopped was a ringed driveway, with high curbs, I couldn't back my car up to cast a wider beam of light. I turned off the car and was plunged into darkness.
I readjusted my camera and shot again. Direct headlights, I discovered, weren't required: instead, the glow from the shopping plaza, across the street, and lights of cars that passed on Strandherd Drive were all that was needed.