Monday, February 3, 2014

More night photography

These are a few of the many images taken last Saturday night a few hours after sunset...these are part of my continuing effort to make good night images.  For anyone thinking about trying night photography, and I don't mean sunset..but true darkness, a couple of hours after sunset, it is important to stake out the area you want to use while it is still daylight.  I started shooting a little too late and it was difficult to find compositions in almost total darkness; also, focus is a real problem. Everything is done manually but if you can't see much even with a flashlight, it is very difficult to get a composition and get it focused correctly.  The rocks in the bottom image were my favorite
: the large rock was easy to focus on because I was able to light it with my flashlight a little and get decent focus...another important thing is timing..A bright lens is necessary if you want to get star points since you have to shoot less than 30 seconds or the movement of the earth will cause small light streaks..I used my 15mm fisheye, an f2.8 is ideal for the sky since it takes in so much image in all directions.  On the rock, the lower image, it was my 24-70mm Canon f2.8 lens: this is my favorite night lens for cities and towns.  When I was in Scotland shooting all the villages at night; it was the only lens I used.
Towns and cities are much easier than dark remote areas...this has taught me to get to my spot early, before dark, set up my camera or select a couple of areas and note in a notebook which settings to use for the best focus...setting the camera on infinity doesn't guarantee sharp images...sometimes you have to back it off a little. Also, I have noticed that the best night photographers shoot their foreground just before dark then combine it with the background after dark to preserve detail. I plan to continue my efforts to get better night images because it is so much fun but watch out walking on the shore and rocks in the dark, it can be treacherous.