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Saturday, August 8, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Night vision

Preservation activists put city’s architectural legacy on display with unique collection

John D. Moore’s collection of night photography from rooftops overlooking downtown Spokane includes this scene.
John D. Moore’s collection of night photography from rooftops overlooking downtown Spokane includes this scene.

A volunteer effort to document the architectural history and the feel of the night in Spokane will be on display for First Friday at Kress Gallery in River Park Square.

A collection of night scene prints will be part of the exhibit.

In addition, a collaborative seven-minute video on Spokane history, produced by Purple Crayon Pictures, will be shown during the gallery reception from 5 to 8 p.m. today.

The show is part of the run up to this fall’s National Trust for Historic Preservation annual national conference in Spokane.

As many as 2,500 delegates involved in historic preservation will be at the conference from Oct. 31 through Nov. 3 at the Spokane Convention Center.

Local preservation activists are working now to put on a good show. Spokane is the smallest city to host a National Trust conference.

“People have practically come out of nowhere to help,” said Kristin Griffin, Spokane’s historic preservation officer.

The conference, she said, “will raise the profile of Spokane as a place that has relied on historic preservation in its revitalization efforts.”

Among the people helping advance the conference is a group of still photographers led by John D. Moore, a retired Spokane police officer.

He now operates Spokane Night Scenes Photography.

As a crime prevention officer, Moore worked closely with building managers downtown on security issues, so when he approached them with requests to use their roofs for photography he was welcomed, he said.

As a community service, the project was launched to document the city’s historic places in advance of the conference, he said.

“It’s beautiful down there,” Moore said of downtown. “It’s such a privilege for me and my guys.”

Because the photos are shot from rooftops, they provide a new perspective on the city’s architecture, he said.

The group is creating images “that have never been done this way before.”

Moore uses a high dynamic range technique that employs a series of exposures to bring out depth and detail of both lighter and darker areas of the image, creating remarkable vibrancy in the finished image. The camera remains in a fixed position during timed exposures.

A collection of 31 of the night scenes is on display at the IMAX Theater at Riverfront Park.

National Trust conference organizers identified more than two dozen buildings for study. Moore and his group are shooting each of them, he said.

Along with Moore, the roof photographers are Josh Burdick, Chris Thompson and Paddy Hoy.

The other photographers involved in the project are Barbara Murray, Brian Jamieson, Dean Huggins, Eric Strate, Herman Marchetti, Jeff Schindler, Juli Lynch, Pat Schilling, Robert Chiappe and Todd Conley.

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