Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Night Lights

I had a photo club meeting last night. It always inspires me. Even if we don't get around to the point right away. Even if we do too much talking and not enough critiquing. Even if we discuss histograms too much, and apertures and shutter speeds, and all that technical stuff. I always seem to take something away. One of our assignments was night photography. I sent in one of my concert photos that is posted here, down a couple of posts. But after I left the meeting I got on the phone with my little sister, the photography major, and she was telling me about the night photos she had taken recently. So instead of going home immediately (sorry honey) I parked the car and took some shots of the rain-wet street. Now, seeing as how I nearly never take night photos, this was kinda fun for me. I started by taking the typical street scene. But then I remembered my promise to myself to look beyond. So I forgot all about the sky and the lights and went right for the wet pavement. The stop lights were bouncing all this color, and twilight sky added a really cool blue hue. After about 30 shots I started the drive home. I didn't want to stop taking photos. It was entirely too cool and fun. {DISCLAIMER HERE: I DO NOT CONDONE OR ENCOURAGE WHAT I DID NEXT.} I took out the camera and sat it on the top of the steering wheel and set a long exposure. I wasn't looking through the viewfinder or anything, so I was still watching the road. I only took a couple this way since I knew I'd catch heck from my husband once he read this. But I thought the result was pretty sweet.

So my art today is titled Night Lights, but it also could be called Experimentation. It was so much fun trying something new. And even though technically there's a ton of camera shake, etc., I learned so much from my 15 minute experiment. I'll continue to try new things without the thoughts of failure flying through my mind. This is the place to do it, so you'll get to go with me.

Info: Odd combos here, I know but I didn't want a ton of noise, thus the lower ISO (my camera is OLD), and I also wanted those cool stars to come off the lamps, thus the smaller aperture. That meant long exposures and lots of shake (no tripod), but I wasn't worried about the shake. I was looking for color and motion.

17-40mm lens on both

Night Lights 1: ISO 200, f 11.0, 6 sec (Color temp shift a bit, added curves for pop)
Night Lights 2: ISO 200, f 11.0, 6 sec (focal length at 17mm, same adjustments as above)
p.s. My sister told me to set my white balance to daylight to make the blues pop. Very cool!


Anonymous said...

WHAT THE!?!?!?!? j/k beautiful images hon.

Hollee said...

You are amazing! I actually LIKE the camera shake thing going on!

I so wish I had just a smidge of your talent. Seriously, just a little.

Jacqueline Pine Savage said...

Very cool! And seriously, balancing the camera on the steering wheel isn't any worse than talking on the phone or eating French fries (not that i've ever done either of those . . .)
Keep experimenting and thanks for bringing us along for the ride!