I’m so impressed by Snap Happy Gal’s Photography of life in the north, especially her night shots of the stars, that I’ve been trying to figure out how to do it myself.
I messed around with night photography when I was up in Northport last December; by watching YouTube videos I figured out how to use my camera’s manual settings, change the ISO, the aperture, the shutter speed. It was below zero the night I spent an hour out on the beach trying to capture the sky, but I didn’t notice the cold. It was just so much fun being out there.
I haven’t tried it since, and of course now I’ve forgotten how to do any of it, so I watched the videos again, set my camera on manual, and headed out to camp in the backyard last night. I have too much light where I live to see the sky in as much detail as you’d see in the north woods, but I was more curious about the process and the color of the light than I was the number of stars.
I set my alarm for 3:00 a.m. and settled in to sleep. Nothing doing. So I read for awhile and tried to sleep again. Nope. I surfed the web on my phone for a bit and finally nodded off about midnight.
At 3:00 the phone gently nudged me awake and I stumbled out into the yard with my tripod and camera, pointed the lens at the sky and pushed the shutter.
Turns out I’m still way too pink.
I figured it would be this way as I didn’t investigate white balance, something Heather (the Snap Happy One up north) suggested after my first foray into night photography.
Still, I stayed awake a couple more hours thinking about the problem and listening to the bugs, frogs, freeway and occasional snorting white tailed dear. I also watched the stars slide across the sky through the roof of my tent. I didn’t really mind being awake. It was a beautiful night.
So today I studied white balance, read a few articles, watched a video, and I’ve adjusted my camera’s white balance setting. I’m hoping for one more clear night so I can camp out in the backyard again. I figure the worst thing that happens is that the photos are still too pink and I have to study some more.
But I’ll get another nice night under the stars out of it and that’s OK with me.