In the days before digital it was darned hard to do night shots as an amateur. Flash won’t light the Eiffel Tower. You used the film that was in the camera. Lights are bright but will not be sufficient to light up everything in your picture. Digital makes hash of all of that worry. The mini computer can compensate on the fly. ISO adjusts automatically as the light changes. The processor will adapt to artificial light.
Then – You accept noise in your image. Basically, you are thankful for a shot. Now – The shots are so exceptionally better that you don’t realize how easy it all is today. I’m amazed. I take it in stride and even shot the stars (recently) in the night sky without a tripod. I’m not bragging. I can only say that you can push the envelope and it often will give you something better than expected.
How did I know this image would work? It was Paris and the Eiffel Tower at night. Night shots are devilishly hard. They are surprisingly easy. Lighting is tungsten (mostly). Film is balanced for daylight. Light bulbs throw off enough light that they mimic daylight levels of light. The lighting difference from foreground to background is tough to compensate and balance. It’s still slide film at this point. Digital can handle the situation much more easily. My archive? I was able to locate the original slide I posted before without too much pain. Gee! It’s good/lucky to be organized (somewhat). For most the eye/brain is fooled and compensates for daylight and tungsten differences. But the reality of print leaves a distinct discernible difference. Did any of this make sense? Someone I know keeps asking me this. And… I get it.
I am so fascinated that I got this image. Actually, there are two. The other slide was a wider angle view of this painter at dusk. He was on a bridge (duh) and I was on a tour boat on the Seine. Yes, the lighting was near impossible. And I did not ever see the painting until I developed the slide. Voila! You might think this as an out of focus shot. I’m impressed that I got anything at all. See in the dark digital cameras might well to better now. To me this was a one of a kind image that I had no right to get and I got it by sheer luck. There was some skill. I was there. I pressed the shutter. Hey! I can smile and talk about it all this time later.
Digital? Now? Yes, this shot would be way easier. And then again it would challenge most people. Not too many people would try it. Even fewer would have noticed this shot. To be honest I had no idea what I would get. Serendipity.
Seven years ago. Hmmm….Shutterfly knows how to press my buttons. This was an uploaded series (in Shutterfly) from my birthday. How do you surprise me? It ain’t easy. Some people give. Some receive. I’m the former. It’s pretty hard to do something for someone who’s done about everything and has about all he could think of. I’m not being smug. It’s just that I have been a headache in the gift department for a lot of people for many years. Jules and her mother decided to give me a World Cruise dinner birthday as a surprise. Don’t ask. I don’t remember all the details except that it was a cold foggy almost rainy day/evening. They got me on the boat dressed semi-casual/formal – at least no tie, but shoes and socks. It’s a dinner cruise while the boat goes around lower Manhattan. Jules was sorely seasick. Oh my! She sat on deck in the freezing drizzle while we ate. No dancing. Was that her plan? Nope. She was pretty green up top – and pretty frozen too. She perked up as soon we disembarked. Anyway, she’s just like her dad; we both have a history of motion sickness. Fortunately, what I remember, it was a good meal. At least something memorable happened in 2010.
It starts a conversation. Going home. The New York skyline. Even out of focus I recognize the Empire State Building and one of the East River bridges is lit in the foreground. Traffic was moving. No stopping. Oh well. It’s blurred. I will put this on my bucket list of photos to take when time and location permit. Meanwhile, I saw this at night driving around in New York City. I wish you had been there too.
So, on the heels of my last post is the picture I missed. I slept through it. Hung over. It was the State of the Union address last night. A blue moon is the second full moon of the same month. A super moon is when the moon is closest to the earth. The blood moon is when you have a lunar eclipse. Damn! A trifecta. Missed it. Double D.
The very next night… well I saw the full moon which is still blue and super. Yes, it doesn’t look blue. Duh! It’s just the terminology. I got off a shot. See the power lines. Not good but a shot, a place holder if you will. The darn camera does its own thing. I try to get what I want. Sometimes it gives me what it will. We bargain and I come away with shots. Some good some bad and some less bad.
And thank you Ginny, she reminded me. Of course, Dave was in the air and saw it all, lucky kid. Me? I slept – fitfully/blissfully through it when it all happened the day before. Now I was in a shopping mall…
Manhattan Beach does their annual firework display at Xmas. They don’t compete with the neighboring beach community that does it in July. It’s a very large beach. You have to get a good seat. And so we did. The traffic was horrible. But we were already parked. I guess that was the limiting factor.
We sat alone with no one nearby and had the best seats in the house. It was chilly! And I got fireworks! Next July I’ll look for fireworks images. For now we got some great ones. How do you know he’s going up? He was. I suggested it would be easier to pull than push. But the image? It could be more likely he’s going downhill with the stroller…except he’s not.
On the technical side: I shot the fireworks handheld. This meant I could not use an extended exposure. Ideally: Use a tripod. Set the shutter speed to 3-4 seconds. Adjust your ISO and aperture accordingly. You get sharp trails of light and even multiple bursts. Handheld? Hey, it works too if you set up correctly. It’s what I did when I started. It’s not what I’d do now. But one adapts to the conditions provided. No, it’s not worth buying a tripod special for this occasion. I’m not OCD. Ha!
No, not Van Gogh. I just stuck my camera up and took a pic. Wow! The son of a gun (camera) actually got a picture of the stars. (Warning: If you have a small screen device or your screen is dirty, you ain’t gonna see nuthin.’ Sorry. What you should see? White dots and star trails… and clouds – upper right.) No tripod. Hand held. I was about as surprised as you might be. The darn thing shoots in the dark. Technology! Ain’t it great? The things that a CPU will do never ceases to amaze me. I’ve tried it a few more times, but with less success. Mostly, it’s been too cold lately…. Brrrr.
Note to self: A picture with little white dots is hardly gonna blow any socks off. There are a few clouds along the margin. Mostly it’s ho-hum, yawn….Add a little color so the readers will stick with me. Note to self: I am not a nut…I am not…
Nighttime in Chinatown is colorful too. Hey? Maybe that’s why I’m not a ‘black and white’ photographer? It was a crisp (cold…brrr) autumn evening. We walked a long way. I was parked on the other side of town from that ‘roast pig.’ Who knew? Lights and the city are something special. It was fun. I was glad to get into a warm car and go home.
I’ve said it before. I’ve done this before. To be sure, I was surprised myself. In fact, I had to look twice and then I still wasn’t sure. But, yup! I got the moon! Well, I was shooting the bridge. Random! We were headed home. I was near 10PM. (My camera is set for EST). So, yes, it was dark, as in night. I was shooting the bridge. It’s lit well enough and makes a dramatic shot. Of course, I wasn’t stopping the car. At about 55 mph I set the camera for shutter speed of 1/100 and ISO on auto. It set itself to 5000. Voila! I just aimed and shot away. Yes, I was watching the road. But, there was no one else on the bridge. See?! …no other cars coming or going. My edit was to see the pattern of lights. Whoa! That’s the moon. … an added benefit. I would be lying if I told you I noticed the moon was out as we drove home. This series got my attention. I’m glad I got the shot. 99% luck, 1% skill; I knew what settings to use. Hey, it’s not my first rodeo.