Halifax photographer plays with time on Instagram

Photographer Patrick Rojo, originally from the city's north end, has been getting more attention on Instagram as he uploads more images of Halifax for which he blends day and night scenes.

Patrick Rojo quit his day job to perfect these day-to-night images

A Halifax photographer is playing with night and day in a series of photos that have steadily brought more and more people to his Instagram page.

Patrick Rojo, who grew up in the city's north end and Hubbards, N.S., says these photos were born out of his interest in timelapse videos.

"Ever since I was a little kid, I've always been captivated by just seeing the BBC ones of a flower opening or a mushroom growing, so that's always been really interesting to me," he said.

Rojo says he quit his day job as a bartender a year-and-a half ago to get better at photography.

Six months in the woods

"I decided to get rid of everything I owned except for what I could carry on my back and my camera bags on my front," said Rojo, who takes pictures with a Nikon D610 and a number of different lenses.

He traveled around British Columbia living in a tent for about six months making timelapse videos — mostly of sun sets and stars coming out across the sky.

"I was charging all of my gear with solar power and I could just stay in the woods for pretty long periods and just practice that," he said.

Now he's back in Halifax and he wants to capture the city in a different way.

The process

Each day and night image he uploads online is a combination of a number of photos taken at different times over a three-hour period. 

Rojo sets up his camera to take a picture every ten seconds. He adjusts the exposure as the sky gets darker every one minute and 48 seconds.

"I end up taking the shutter speed to about nine seconds later on at night so that you get the trails from the cars and buses as they go by just to add that extra effect. I also use a very wide angle lens to capture as much as possible." 

Sharing 'keeps me going'

Rojo says he meets a lot of people as he's outside for hours with his camera. He's been getting a lot of good feedback since he started sharing his pictures.

"People actually see me because I'm out for three hours and it's a small city. People see me out so I'll get people commenting later, 'Hey, I saw you there,'" he said.

"There is that gratification that comes along with Instagram and posting to Facebook. It's nice when someone really appreciates the shots, that's what keeps me going."

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