Tonight I had the opportunity to get outside and practice my night photography. The wife was nipping out for an hr or so, so I got dropped off at the local beach and started snapping away. There wasn’t much of a moon to provide any lighting tonight, but I was still keen to see what I could capture with a longer exposure time. I am still sans tripod (going to order is next week I think) I had to make do with balancing on top of a concrete bench. That gave me the stability, as long as I was gripping the camera as tightly at possible to avoid any camera shake.
At first I was struggling to focus on the bridge – as it was so dark the autofocus couldn’t pick it up, so I was focussing manually by trial and error with reasonable results. It wasn’t until my wife returned to pick me up that I was able to use the car headlights to light up the bridge so I could focus correctly. Todays shot is one that was taken while the headlights were still on. Unfortunately for the shot I took without the headlights I’d set the ISO to 3200, which was really too high, and the image is really noisy. So for todays shot I’m plumed for this. I actually quite like the effect the car lights have given the bridge – even thought its slightly over-exposed. I do love light bouncing off the clouds, and also that I’ve managed to capture the stars through the break in the clouds. The settings for todays shot were; f/8, 25-sec exposure, IS-3200.
With hindsight, I’d have turned up a bit earlier (with a tripod) while it was still light to get the focusing correct – then it would have given me more time to play with the camera settings, and I’d have definitely used a lower ISO. But I guess that’s what this entire project is about – making mistakes and learning from them. I’ll definitely be retrying this shot (or one similar) when my tripod arrives.
Didn’t want to do too much in Photoshop today, so just the usual levels, contrast and exposure settings were slightly tweaked, and also slightly cropped the image down to bring the bridge away from the centre of the image. So overall, very happy – learnt more tonight in an hr or so that I have done for a while so a productive night I’d say!
Thanks for reading everyone.