Night Photography

For the last two and a half years, I’ve had a mental image of a photograph I wanted to try and get – basically, haybales lit by moonlight, so they’d be silver rather than gold. I know, strange but true.

Over the last two summers, events have conspired against that plan – there’s been no full moon when the bales are available, and conversely no bales when the full moon’s around. And on the occasions when there was a full moon + bales, the nights have been too cloudy to do anything with it.

Last night, I finally got the perfect circumstances – lovely full moon, clear skies (OK, a tiny bit of cloud, but nothing important) and bales in the fields.  So off I went.

And it’s been reasonably successful. I’m pleased with the results in general, except for one thing. They’re horrifically noisy as well as everything else. Now some of that’s my fault – the wrong ISO setting, for one thing – so I’m going to go out again tonight and see whether I get anything better while using a super-low ISO – 200 at most, but preferably 100. It’ll also probably mean I need to take even longer exposures, although the ones I got last night of about 2.5-3 minutes seemed to work OK.

Even at that point I think I’m still going to need to do some editing in Photoshop and/or Capture ONE in order to get the results I’m actually thinking of , as it turns out that my mental image is probably rather more “romantic” than the reality. Still, it’s fun to try.

Additionally, it also meant I finally got to use my PClix 100 properly for the first time since I bought it three years ago. It’s a nice bit of kit, but ’til now I haven’t really had the project and/or ideas that necessitated its use.  Long exposures though are one of the areas it specialises in. Without the PClix, I wouldn’t have had any real chance of getting a decent exposure at all.

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