Heather’s photography always makes me smile. Sometimes gasp. And I’ve been especially intrigued by her night photography. Some of you have seen her work. If you haven’t hop over to her website. I think you will be amazed.
I don’t know anything about pointing my camera into the night sky. But I’ve been up north for awhile, away from the city lights, and I’ve been waiting to experiment. Two weeks I’ve been waiting.
Monday night, my last night here, I took the garbage can out to the road and glanced up. I stopped in my tracks. There were stars up there. Finally a clear night!
I read a few articles while I was at the lake, sorting out manual settings on the camera, though I still have a lot of things to learn about how to choose shutter speed, ISO and apertures. Monday evening, once I realized I had one night to try this, I watched a short video about camera settings and star shooting. Sitting in the warm living room I adjusted the settings on my camera and then took it and the tripod down the dark snow covered stairs to the beach.
I left the lights on in the house, hoping I could play around with a house shot, stars above. I haven’t figured it all out yet, and there was too much light. I got an odd sort of image, but in the process I learned a lot. I especially learned I should have brought a flashlight down with me. Using my cell phone to light up buttons on a camera works, but it’s not great.
I messed around with trying to do the house for awhile. Then I pointed the camera straight up at the night sky. Another thing I learned is it would have been a lot warmer to practice what all the tripod levers and knobs did while I was in the house rather than out on the beach. Live and learn. Right?
I think this is the milky way. It was obvious to me looking up at the sky…not so obvious in the shot.
I had the ISO up as high as it would go, and the aperture open as far as it would go, and the shutter speed at 30 seconds. I think that’s as wide open as I can get this camera. But I’ll read more and see.
These shots aren’t anything that I really like, but I learned a ton. Now I have to learn how to get rid of the red cast. And oh so much more.
And even though it was only 9 degrees out there I was never cold, protected as I was behind a low dune, with no wind, and the sound of gentle waves lapping at the beach below me. In fact it was sort of pleasant.
Maybe I wasn’t cold because I was busy doing something that fascinates me, something that I love, something that I plan on learning a whole lot more about.
Next time you’re somewhere in the dark take a venture outside, regardless of the temperature. It’s pretty amazing. Even if you don’t end up with fine art, it’s pretty amazing.