Merry Christmas all!
A few days ago, I was surfing around looking for ideas and inspiration. I found an article on long exposure photograph at night with the goal of making it look like day. I really liked the idea, having done some long exposure work before, and set off last night to make it happen.
Upon getting to the location, I decided that I wanted to keep the mystery and magic of the night scene, but bring out all the colors that are hidden in the dark. Remember, there is no such thing as darkness, only a lack of light. You just have to dig a little deeper for the blue of the sky or the emerald green of the ocean. That's what makes it fun and makes the shots jump out of the little LCD on the back of the camera at you. After shooting these, I couldn't wait to get them on the computer to see what I had captured!
I shot these at about midnight and it was COLD - I mean freezing... ok well it was 39 degrees according to the little meter in my truck, but, hey! I'm a thin blooded Floridian, so cut me some slack. The cold front that just moved though made for a beautiful clear night with little wispy clouds. It was about a 3/4 moon fairly low in the sky.
I LOVE this first shot!
This one hints at the biggest problem you run into shooting in the dark. IT'S DARK! Your trustworthy friend the auto focus will just pack it up and go home in this environment. The focus point in this image is not the normal one I wold have selected, but the sky and the water more than make up of it in this image.
Stars over the beach. I love it! :-)
This last one just came out dreamy. A little more color in the water would have been nice, but the brightness of the moon kind of whacked that out. Still a very unique look. As always, unique = good.
You're going to need a timer and a steady tripod. These were all shot in the 15-30 second range on bulb mode. A hood with an eyepiece is a great tool to help you dial in that elusive focus point. Also, wear at least one more layer of clothing than I had on last night, and some nice gloves to keep your digits nimble.
As a parting thought, take a look at this new Canon commercial (even if your a Nik-fan). Can you see yourself in there? If the answer is anything other than "heck yeah, I did three of those things on my last vacation!", then maybe you need to shake it up a bit and get outside your comfort zone for a little fun. In the words of a current beer commercial, it's only crazy if it doesn't work!
Go be creative. Go have fun.