Here we are at the last of our special topics. We threw in 5 extra topics through the year just to keep keep things spicy and for good measure, why not make sure one of them gets us out in the cold wintery months at night? Sure, why not. We're tough, we can take it. (Said now with chest puffed out proudly, when only weeks ago when this was shot we were bundled up like small children going out to play in fresh snow and sitting in the warmth of the car while our camera were busy exposing in the cold by themselves. But no need to think about that now).
But not just any nighttime photography would do, we had to shoot a scene lit by the moon. Moonlight is actually quite pretty to shoot by. It has a different color cast and the way things look at night lit up is still other worldly when compared to daytime shooting. However, the moon creates enough light to see the ground allowing more detail to be scene instead of just the bright sky and stars. It also helps the photographer. Keeping you from bumbling over yourself and tripod in the dark or digging around helplessly in your camera bag. Yes indeed, the moon sheds a light on things alright.
Dave and I went out shooting together again for this topic. I usually beg him to come along with me at night because I don't like being out shooting at night by myself. It creeps me out just a little bit. So, with a braver partner in tow, we headed out to shoot the wind turbines again down at the Railsplitter wind farm area near Delevan, IL. If you will remember, I shot these in March for my wide panorama double take.
The turbines always fascinate me and they are just as unique and pretty at night with their soft whooshing sounds as the blades cut their the still night air. Equally interesting are the red light that flash on them. A whole series of turbines blink together in sync and I loves how the red lights lit up the blades during the longer night exposures. It was chilly though and after we'd get out camera set up, we'd hop back in the car to stay warm while our cameras exposed for 8-12 minutes at a time. Fun stuff.
With longer exposures, you don't get as many shots because it simply takes longer each time both to expose and if you've got it turned on, noise reduce. So, one shot could take 12 minutes to expose and another 12 to noise reduce, meaning that most likely half an hour, you've only taken one shot. It means you should take the time to get everything set up right and double check everything before you release the shutter - you're exposure time, the focus, your composition, etc. because it will be half an hour before you can fix it. Dave, however, opted to turn his noise reduction off and got twice as many shots in the same time as I did and there is something to be said for that. This is something I hope to talk about soon and experiment with myself to see how much image quality is actually gained or not by having NR turned on.
Be sure to stop over to Dave's blog and read his version of our shooting the wind turbines as night.
We've got just a few more to go - Long Exposure, Near/Far, and Film (which I did finally send off for developing!). See you next week with Long Exposure.