Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Star light, star bright . . .

by Kim



First star I see tonight,
I wish I may, I wish I might,
Have the wish I wish tonight.

I am always up for a challenge to try something new, to expand my horizons . . . to just play.

In fact I've been wanting to try some nightscapes of downtown Houston, and missed the opportunity awhile back when my photography meetup, met up on a street corner downtown. And while I'm completely okay with going to the sunrise by myself, I'm not as comfortable at night by myself.

In the first image, I set up my tripod, set it to bulb mode, using my wide angle lens and an f-stop of 16. I had planned on light painting with a flashlight and then I had one of those aha moments. Instead of light painting words or squiggly lines, I would try to make star bursts instead. So using my remote, with my camera and tripod on my neighbors sidewalk, I walked back over to my front yard and simply stood in different spots flashing the light on and off. It's the same concept as getting a star burst with the sun during the day, only with a different light source and for a longer period of time.

Next time though, I would turn the lights in the house off and maybe enlist a few more people with flashlights in a few windows. If you look close on the left hand side you can see the red trails of a car that went by during this exposure.

This next image is a bit wobbly. Again using my wide angle, ISO at the lowest setting (100), choosing to start at 5 seconds with an f-stop of 10, I held the camera as still as possible. But that's pretty impossible to do in the car, especially in a smaller car. We were on our way to eat, and were driving our compact car so front seat it was for me. I would like to try this one again, with the tripod, in the back seat of my van (sounds like a game of clue for photographers). My goal was to get fairly straight light trails. I've tried this many times, only I used camera movement for really abstract images. I had a few that had the dashboard in them, but this was the best I could get of the trails. A fairly smooth road at a lower speed seems to work better.




The last image below was my husband driving in a circle in our cul de sac. I was just waiting for someone to call the police to report a crazy drunk guy turning his lights on and off and using his flashers! lol  I think this would have been a better image if either before or after he drove in circles that I used a flashlight for a few seconds to light up the car. This was a 30 second exposure on f16 . I feel it needs a little more interest and will work some more on this one too. I'll try the van next time and maybe even enlist my son to sit in the passenger side with a flashlight?  




So many possibilities, so little time! Go ahead, experiment, get creative. Share them with us and tell us how you did it.

"Night is not something to endure until dawn.
It is an element, like wind or fire. Darkness is its
own kingdom; it moves to its own laws. And
many living things dwell in it."

- Patricia A McKillip




12 comments:

Jeanne said...

Made me totally laugh when I saw that your husband was driving around in circles. Only a husband would do that. Very interesting shots.

Carol said...

This is so much dun! I have not tried starbursts yet, and I'm not sure I even understand how to figure them out -so I plan to completely copy your settings and see what happens. The top pic is very cool -and so is your husband. ("honey, you want me to do WHAT?") .....

terriporter said...

This is so cool and artistic! Something I've never tried but now I want to. Thanks for the technical info and I ove that you enlisted the help of your husband!

Janet Bocciardi said...

wow - so cool! I need to play with my camera more.

Linda said...

The pictures are great and it sounds like you had a lot of fun creating them!

Dotti said...

Fun, fun, FUN! Although I'd like to see a 're-do' as you described on the top photo, I actually like the interior lights, they give the photo some warmth and mystery. What's behind those windows? Great ideas and yes, having met your husband, I'll concur: he's a good sport!

Nicki said...

Too, too cool! I am such a flunkie when it comes to challenging myself (REALLY challenging myself) with my camera.

Lisa Comperry said...

I laughed your description of your hubby driving in circles...I wish I had such an assistant, lol...Pretty and unusual night shots :-)

Lisa Comperry said...

***Correction *** I laughed when I read your description **** My apologies for mis-spells and typos..I am typing this on I-pad...

kelly said...

kim these shots are just amazing. please...those starbursts!! you are so creative and bring such a playful element to your photography!

Deanna said...

I still need to get my tripod out and start this night project...love your captures especially that first one with the starlights!!

June Caedmon said...

Very fun, Kim!

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