Thursday, February 17, 2011

GEO-tography: Night

Even pocket sized cameras are getting sophisticated enough to take photos which look good in some pretty tough conditions offroad.   I'm happy with the Nikon that I carry in my clip-on belt case, but the one thing it doesn't do well is make up for the "shakes." One time, while cleaning my lens for the um-teenth time on a trail, I was mumbling about how many of my photos just didn't seem "crisp" and were just a tad blurry - like they were out of focus.   A friend asked "why don't you try shutting off your ATV and see how that works?"

I did and it made a lot of difference.   The subtle vibration of the machine's motor was transmitted to my hand and blurred the photograph slightly, even though I had the camera's "vibration control" setting switched on.   We all know that no pocket camera can obtain the crystal qualities of a 35-mm camera mounted on a tripod and with a cable shutter release – especially when the light gets low.

The "vibration control" system on most cameras of any kind is much better at dampening the "low frequency" shakes from a tired hand than it is the high frequency jerks from an ATV engine, even at idol.

What happens when you are trundling along off-road on an iceburg trying to get to a spot where you can watch a volcano erupt – like in this photograph?   It's dark so what do you do then?

Cameras have gotten so automatic for so long that we may not remember the camera is adjusting to lower and lower light first by opening up the aperture wider and wider (which makes the focus harder to accomplish) and then, when that isn't enough, by keeping the shutter open for longer and longer time (which makes motion blur more obvious).   That's the rub, when either the subject or the camera moves while the shutter is opened the image becomes blurred.

When the sun goes down, one has to obtain light from the stars, moonlight, longer exposure times, light painting, and light trails.   Today's collection of geologically and geographically related photographs are all in the dark – and show what you can do when you've got a tripod!   Be sure and leave a comment about any of your own photos, experiences or tips.
[As before, these are full photgraphs so be patient while they load.   You can click on the photograph to open the full image.]

Country Road at Night

Night Photography

midnight

Night Photography

Apocalypse

Night Photography

cold night

Night Photography

yesterday & tomorrow

Night Photography

On the scene

Night Photography

Hendry’s with Fog, Night

Night Photography

The flower that blooms at Night=)

Night Photography

Stilts

Night Photography

Twin Light

Night Photography

Light Years

Night Photography

Roberts Grove Dock

Night Photography

Rainbow at Night

Night Photography

Green Beacon

Night Photography

South African Nightscapes

Night Photography

Twas the night before…(Explored)

Night Photography

Night Watch

Night Photography

Night of Tung Chung

Night Photography

Land of the Rising Moon

Night Photography

The Perfect Storm

Night Photography

Starts in the night

Night Photography

The M├ędulas

Night Photography

the trailer…night trailer

Night Photography

Silver State Valley Dunes, night.


Fairytale

Fairytale

There you have it. These are just a few of the many examples of night photography I've seen on the web which might, at least, give us some inspiration to keep trying. If you've got others you'd like to share or techniques please leave a comment.

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