FAQ

What are your prices?

Prints

Good Night, Ocean View book

Gift certificates

Shipping and sales tax

Do you offer a warranty?

How can I pay?

How can I contact you?

Technique

Do you use film or digital?

What kind of camera do you use?

How do you get those colors?

Do you add light?

Do you use either really fast film or high sensitivity?

How long are your exposures?

"I got the print today, and it's gorgeous! It's better than I even imagined."
C. Ingram, Weston, CT

What are your prices?

Prints

Image Size  Frame Size  Edition* Framed Matted
24″×30″ 32″×38″ 10 $1600 $1000
16″×20″ 24″×28″ 20 $800 $500
11″×14″ 16″×20″ Open $400 $250
8″×10″ 11″×14″ Open $200 $150

*Prints 16″×20″ and larger are limited editions. After an edition sells out, no prints of that image in that size will be available. Prices increase as the edition sells out.

Sizes are approximate. Colors on your screen may differ from those in the prints. My 11″×14″ and smaller prints are digital pigment prints. The larger ones are LightJet prints made by exposing traditional darkroom paper with lasers.

I use acid-free materials. The white mats and contemporary black frames I use complement the prints nicely. My choice of materials helps ensure the longevity of the prints you take home.

I sign the back of every print and mat. Limited-edition prints are also numbered and include a Certificate of Authenticity.

The copyright notices you see on the website do not appear on prints.

Please contact me for multiple-purchase discounts or leasing options.

Good Night, Ocean View book

Photo of Good Night, Ocean View book

You can enjoy 30 of my best night photos in my book, Good Night, Ocean View. All the images are from my West Berkeley neighborhood formerly called Ocean View, which I've been photographing at night since 2003. The book is available at my online bookstore, where you can preview it, and buy it in software or hardcover. Or you can get it from me at my studio. I'd be happy to sign your copy.

Gift Certificates

You can buy gift certificates in any amount starting at $20. They are the perfect solution Gift certificate to the challenge of giving a meaningful gift. Just specify the dollar value and click the "Add to Cart" button.

Shipping and Sales Tax

Shipping and handling charges are reasonable and can be reviewed before finalizing your order. These charges will be refunded if you pick up your purchase at my studio. Sales tax will be added to California orders.

How can I contact you?

You can call me any time at 510-558-7470 or use the contact page to email me. I'm very responsive and will get back to you within two business days. Probably much sooner.

Do you offer a warranty?

Yes. If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase for any reason, simply return it within 30 days in like-new condition for a cheerful refund, exchange, or credit (less any shipping and delivery/pickup charges).

How can I pay?

By phone, you can pay by credit card. By mail (please call for my address), you can pay by check (made payable to "John Vias"), cash, and money order.

Forms of payment accepted (where available)

By phone or online, you can use a major credit card, PayPal, or eCheck (where available). Javascript must be enabled in your browser for e-commerce features to appear. I use PayPal, a trusted and secure payment processor, but you do not need a PayPal account to order by credit card. Ordering online is fast, convenient, and secure.

Thank you very much for your order.

Technique

Do you use film or digital?

Until 2013, I used film. Because the type of film I used is no longer available, I now shoot digitally.

What kind of camera do you use?

Exhibiting photographers get this question a lot. I'm never sure why people ask it, so Relative sizes of 35mm and medium format negatives. I'm never sure how to answer. Are people asking if I use film or digital? (First film, now digital. See the film or digital question.) Are they asking because they're inspired to try night photography themselves? (Great! Any camera that can handle long exposures can work.) Or maybe my studio visitors are simply making conversation. Well, I'm happy to talk about my work.

Anyway, I now use a Nikon D5100 digital SLR. I used to use a Bronica GS-1 medium format camera. Medium format is in between 35mm and large format (the old-timey camera with bellows like an accordion and the photographer under a black drape). Medium format let me capture more detail than 35mm, so I can make larger prints. With modern high-resolution digital cameras and skillful techniques, large prints can be made from digital negatives too.

How do you get those colors?

Film's failure to reproduce colors accurately over long exposures worked to my advantage. I have never used filters. The otherworldly colors you see in some of my images are caused mostly by the reaction of the film to long exposures it wasn't designed for. Now that I'm shooting digitally, and street lights are being converted from orangey sodium vapor to white LED, colors are often more realistic, but that's okay too.

Do you add light?

The light you see in my photos is almost always existing light—mostly street light and moonlight. Rarely, I use a spotlight to lighten shadows.

Did you use either really fast film or high sensitivity?

That's a reasonable assumption, but in fact I used very slow film, often ISO 64. Slower film has smaller grain, so the resultant prints are smoother and not as grainy. For similar reasons, I use a low sensitivity setting on my digital camera.

How long are your exposures?

Shooting digitally, my exposure times are from under 1 minute to 6 minutes. When I shot film, my exposure times ranged from 1 to 12 minutes—yes, minutes, not seconds. (There's a lot of thumb-twiddling in night photography.) I also bracketed my exposures, which means I made multiple exposures of the same scene, each at a different exposure time, hoping one of them would be the right one. Usually, one was, but it's certainly possible to over- or underexpose at night. At least, that's what I've heard.

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