Tag Archives: sky

Exclamation Mark: Double Arch at Night

Double Arch at night

I took this image of beautiful Double Arch at night in Arches National Park (UT).

By using a wide angle on my camera and of course setting it up for night photography (in which regard, you may want to check out the night photography primer that I published on an earlier post), I managed to capture both openings of Double Arch in such a way that, silhouetted against the starry night sky, they took the shape of a giant exclamation mark. 🙂

 Hope you enjoy it! 🙂

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

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Landscape Arch at Night and a Few Night Photography Tips

Landscape Arch at night

I took this image of Landscape Arch at Arches National Park at night (which you actually can see much better on my Web site), with the lights of the town of Moab in the background. With certain over photographed subjects, sometimes you need to be creative to come up with images that are not cliché and that still represent those towering creations of nature in their beauty and wildness. Night photography can be an option to resort to, if you are prepared to adjust your meal schedule around it and if you master the technique to get the shot.

A few tips on night photography:

1. Scout your spot earlier in the day to previsualize your shot and identify where precisely you will want to set up later in the day

2. Get to your spot before sunset so, if suitable, you can squeeze in some bonus sunset shots but most importantly you can set up your gear, frame your shot and focus when you can still see something!

3. If you shoot digital, (i) make sure the long exposure noise reduction function of your camera and, if it has one, its mirror lock up feature are activated; (ii) secure your camera to a sturdy tripod; (iii) with your camera in M exposure mode, set your aperture to a low f/stop (say anywhere between f/2.8 and f/4.0 or thereabouts) and set your shutter speed and ISO to a base exposure (of course, you will have to slow down your shutter speed as the night progresses); (iv) if you have a cable release (which you definitely should), connect it to your camera

4. Shoot a series of images, starting from twilight (when the sky will still be tinged with delicate orange, pink, magenta and violet hues) going forward to when the sky will turn pitch black, adjusting your exposure accordingly

5. Decide whether you want the stars to record as dots or streaks of light (star trails) and set your shutter speed/ISO accordingly (for best results, try to keep your ISO as low as possible, but you may have to compromise a bit): as a rule of thumb, bear in mind that anything slower than say 15/20 sec will cause at least some of the stars to streak noticeably – for pleasing star trails you will need exposures north of 30 seconds up to several minutes or even hours (the longer the exposure, the longer the trails – remember, every time you double the time the shutter stays open, with the others parameters staying the same, you add one extra stop of light to your exposure): this means that on your camera your shutter speed dial shall be set to Bulb and you will have to use a cable release and to experiment timing your exposure yourself (an illuminated digital watch may come in handy)

6. Be aware that the longer your exposure, the greater the chances that orbiting satellites and commercial airplanes will ruin your shot leaving all sorts of dotted luminous trails across it…

And by the way, today in the US is Nature Photography Day, a day that in the last 8 years has been designated by NANPA (the North American Nature Photography Association) “to promote the enjoyment of nature photography, and to explain how images have been used to advance the cause of conservation and protect plants, wildlife, and landscapes locally and worldwide”. So, if you are game, you might as well be inspired by the night photography tips on this post and go out with your camera and tripod tonight to give it a shot!  🙂

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)

The Sky on Fire

The Sky on Fire

After one day of shooting in Yellowstone National Park, I was heading back to the car when I noticed that some nice sunset color was starting peeking out from a rip in the thick cloak of dark clouds that had been lingering for the entire afternoon.

I quickly looked for a nice way to frame that sunset just in case things were about to get even better when the sun would be lower in the sky. I knew I had to act quickly because there would likely be only a very limited time window to photograph it and I needed to set up my camera and tripod and then expose, focus and compose my image. Fortunately, there was no shortage of trees where I was, so I decided to go tight to  really accentuate the color in the sky while silhouetting the trees: hopefully this would create  a nice framing for the main subject of my image (the warm sunset hues) and a pleasing color contrast between that and the blackness of the trees and the ominous clouds above.

A few minutes later magic did happen and the sliver of sky that was unobstructed by the darkest clouds suddenly became painted in incredibly intense reds and yellows, as if the sky had caught on fire. It only lasted maybe a minute or two, but fortunately enough to take a few frames of that raw beauty.

If you would like to see more images of mine, feel free to browse my Galleries.

As per my copyright notice, please respect my work and do not download, reproduce or use the image above without first seeking my consent. Thank you :-)