Thursday, February 28, 2008

My 3rd Night Shoot

Continuing to post my learnings as I journey from daylight into the dark side of night photography.

Went out on my third night excursion last weekend with my old man. 2 Hr trip up in the mountains to an old derelict blast furnace. I was happy with some of the shots I took.

The clouds Did Come After All

Architecture Under The Stars

So What Were The Learnings?
1) I realised when I was down there that I had no idea about how to find the North or South celestial pole.... I do now. Click here to find out how to do it for Nth or Sth hemisphere.

2) My new little Xenon torch was the bomb! No colour casts at all and perfect size and power.

3) Getting into a routine with exposure calculations is important (I only left it on 1600 ISO once).

4) Praying to the gods for clouds seems to work.... it was clear when we started shooting then we got perfect cloud cover through the night.

5) Bottle of red wine definitely goes down well for night photography

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Contributions from a Newbie Entering the Nocturnal World

Hi Folks

I am a pretty passionate landscape photographer who has just recently taken a step into "the dark side" and started experimenting with night photography. I started blogging about it in my own blog and Otto cajoled me into being a "contributer" to this blog and also writing about my learnings and observations as I enter the nocturnal world.

For those of you that are out there that are "Masters of the night", perhaps you can comment on my posts and help me climb the learning curve a little bit faster.

I've been doing Landscape work for years, mainly seascapes, if you want to see the type of stuff that I do, here's someof my landscape photos on Flickr. I shoot with a Nikon D200, main lens is a Tokina 12-24 and I enjoy Photoshop work as well. So thats me.

My journey into night photography was to push me out of my comfort zone and try something different. So I will be contributing pretty regularly on my learnings over the coming months.

In my first blog I showed the results of my first outing. Here's the first two night shots that I took while experimenting.

Night Experiment number 2

My First Night Shot

I was pretty happy with them and they certainly "got me hooked". After this first excursion out the key issues I immediately had to grapple with were.

1) How the hell do you compose your shot when it's pitch black
2) What's the impact of ultra-long exposures on noise
3) How do you work out exposures when your camera meter only meters to 30sec

The good news is that I have answered all three of these questions pretty quickly.

Answer to number 1) Shoot a test shot at ISO3200 so so you can quickly see the image in your view finder and adjust framing (note: the pictures above were taken only under starlight - no moon at all).

Answer to number 2) I did some pretty extensive noise tests, for the geeks amongst you, you can read the full test results in my blog

Answer to number 3) I think I have a neat little answer to this which I will describe in the next few days.

Stay tuned for quite a few updates over the coming weeks as I get out and experiment with night landscape work.