Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What it looks like after dark

Two things I've learned over the last few years regarding photography.  1.  When walking, always stop and take a look behind you for sometimes the best shot is the one you miss because you didn't look behind you.  2.  Long exposure night photography can really create some nice shots.  This shot is from Sunday night.  I finally seemed to have a handle on the fact that it gets dark earlier than it did 2 months ago so I was able to plan for it.  I headed out to my favorite hiking area around 6pm and proceeded to start hiking knowing I would be somewhere around the lake when the sun went down.  I didn't know if that night's sunset would present any shots, but I do know if I was at home on my butt, there definitely would be no shots.  I got alot of shots off on my hike, but ended up by the lake, 8:30pm, after the sun was pretty much down.  At one point I looked back and I could barely see an opening in the shoreline brush.  I decided to setup and do some long exposure shooting.  The hardest part at the time is focusing due to the fact it was dark.  The camera can't really pickup something to focus on.  I switched it to manual focus and did my best to point across the lake and dial in the focus myself.  I set the camera to create a long exposure.  This means I made the camera open the shutter and stay open as long as I wanted it to.  This is necessary to allow as much light into the camera as possible so you don't just end up with a pitch black shot.  For this shot I kept the shutter open 15 seconds.  Its really a trial and error thing.  Anyway, I was really happy with how this one turned out.  I also made some shots at 5 seconds and 10 seconds.  All too dark.  And I did some at 15, 20, 25, and 30.   The longer ones allowed too much light creating a washed out pic.  The 15 second exposure turned out just right.  What still amazes me is the amount of color in the sky after dark.  You just can't see it because, well, it's dark. 


  1. This is a magical shot, Mark.

  2. Very cool, you'd expect it to be blurry or something because of the long exposure, but that's not the case here. Must have been a still night.