#9 – ARCHIVE MAY 2009: Long Exposures

Night photography is something I enjoy doing but don’t get round to doing enough of. Why? Something to do with Not being arsed in the evenings once I get home from work – in the winter when it gets dark early it’s normally cold and wet, while in the summer, it doesn’t get dark until later. D’oh!
But as one of my projects for my City and Guilds Level 3 course was Low Light, then I had to get out and shoot. Fortunately, I have this large art installation at the entrance to my village, and it’s about 2 minutes walk from my house.
I’d already taken some of this a couple of years back, but things change – it wasn’t floodlit then so I had to light paint it, and I was using my D70 with a 10-20 lens. This enabled me to get right up to it for some really dramatic shots. However, the widest I’ve got for the D700 is 24mm, and the statue is now illuminated, so I had to have a re-think.

Nikon D70, Sigma 10-20, ISO 200, 30 seconds at F9.5 (plus a big maglite torch to light it!)

I got there early as this allowed me the opportunity to find the best spots to shoot from. The oposite side of the road was my intital thought, but there’s too much street furniture (lampposts, signs, railings, traffic lights, etc) in the way. This was a shame, as I really wanted to get some light trails in.
Crossing the road was the only real option, and this actually gave more scope for composition. The first image was taken before it was fully dark, and the bit of light remaining in the sky meant there was more definition in the clouds. The long exposure has given quite a dramatic look to the clouds as it has captured their movement, and the colours in the photo are quite complimentary.
Nikon D700, Sigma 24-70, ISO100, 30 seconds at F22
This next one was taken when the light was almost gone, and the effect is fantastic. This is possibly more pronounced by the fact that I’d (accidentally) left the camera colour setting in ‘vivid’, but if anything this has only enhanced the picture, I’ve also added a bit of a vignette to darken the sky a bit. Exposure was somewhat hit and miss – I was in bulb mode and just kept adding time on until cars had passed to get light trails. There was some lens flare (inevitably) from the spotlights, but this was easy to remove in Photoshop. Overall, quite satisfactory 🙂
Nikon D700, Sigma 24-70, ISO 100, 70 seconds at F22.

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