Monday, 2 June 2008

A Night Like This .....

Last night I took a bit of a drive to a nearby town called Doodlakine which is 15km East of Kella. The town itself is a little off the Great Eastern Highway and has a nice little traffic island at the turnoff to the town, so I figured I would set my tripod and camera up and see what sorta long exposure traffic photos I could get. Everything I do is a learning experience and so, even though these photos look sorta cool, I know I could do better. Let me explain ;) One thing I have realized with these is, it's much better if there is moon light as it lights up any clouds and landscape features a lot better ;) I'll paste a few of the photos and have a bit of a blah blah about what I think. Hopefully if you are thinking of trying these long exposures my experience might help you get better shots :)

Exposure time: 40 s; F-Number: f/5.6; ISO: 100; Metering Mode: Pattern

This was one of the first photos I took, looking west into the set sun. I like how the sky looks with the 40s exposure, but don't like how the lights on the truck aren't illuminating the objects it passes close too. This is where I think these shots would be suited to being taken later (well after the sunsets glow has gone) but with the light from the moon coming into play.

Exposure time: 40 s; F-Number: f/4.5; ISO: 100; Metering Mode: Pattern

This one was taken shortly after. This was of a car coming from the town and turning in front of me onto the highway. I like in this shot that the headlights of the car have lit up the tree trunks etc in the background. I think it's a better idea to have in mind a place where trees are close to the road ... or objects encroach over the road and will be lit up nice by the headlights etc. It really adds something else to the photos. Another thing I have noticed is that it is hard to get good focus because when you are framing the shot, it is pretty dark and doesn't make focusing easy. This is easier when there is a car or truck coming from behind because they illuminate the scene you are going to take and so give you a chance to focus properly.

Exposure time: 40 s; F-Number: f/3.6; ISO: 100; Metering Mode: Pattern

Okay, now it's getting a lot darker. ;) I like the feel of this one so much more than the first, because you can really start to see the lights on the truck so much better. It would have been a lot better if he had had his lights on high beam though, there isn't a lot that is exposed in the background as he got further away from me. There was a car coming from the other direction and so he dimmed his lights. The reason you can't see the car in this photo is because as soon as I started to see the headlights of the car, I placed my hand in front of the lens so that that wouldn't be exposed.

Exposure time: 60 s; F-Number: f/5; ISO: 125; Metering Mode: Pattern

Now ... with this shot I seem to be getting somewhere closer to what I would like. I changed the Exposure Time up to 60s, ISO went to 125 and F-Number to f/5 allowing for more light to be exposed in the shot. This was a shot of a car first ... that had the high beam on and has illuminated the trees really well. The truck came into shot just as the 60 seconds where up and so the shutter closed while it was in the shot like this which I actually like :) I think you would be able to get this same effect putting your hand (or a dark card) in front of the lens at that time to stop any more light from being exposed :) I also like the tiny star trail in the sky :)

Exposure time: 60 s; F-Number: f/13; ISO: 125; Metering Mode: Pattern

And finally as I was coming home and driving into Kella I pulled over out the road a little and set up a shot looking into town down the main street. Usually with a 60s exposure in town like this the street lights get really bright, but I think because I was actually out the road a little, it helped heaps to keep them from over exposing. I also LOVE how the colours from the lights in the Gull Service Station have a different effect on the feel of the photo (that tree looks yum LOL). But the thing that amazes me most is the stars!! I can't believe how well the stars have shown up in this.