On a trip to Ontario with the kids, I really wanted to do some night photography. Landscape & Night Photography is where I really want to shine as a photographer. I had done a few tests with 2-3min exposures off my front balcony, but I really don’t have much of view and there is an orange hazy everywhere. On the first night in Ontario, I set up a lawn chair and my tripod and ran through a couple of 3-5min exposures. There weather wasn’t perfect, and I really didn’t have the ability to leave the backyard to seek out better composition.
One key point is that focusing is very difficult. I was set at ISO 100 and about f8 – f11. I knew to set the focus to infinity was the best option, but with zoom lenses that go into the wide-angle like the EF-S 18-55, the end of the ring is further than infinity. My focus ring didn’t tell me where infinity was, so I just pulled the focus back a little when I got to the end. My buddy Ian had told me about this awhile back and it made sense .. it also worked.
I played around for a few nights, with varied results. The last night I took out a flashlight to try to ‘paint’ some light. focus was the key problem. Getting good focus on a subject was pretty hard. My favorite picture from the shoot was at a drive-in theater with the kids. I just turned to the horizon and took a 3.5min exposure. I even caught the International Space Station streaming across the sky.
A Few Comments from the Shoot:
- Focusing is a bitch.
- On my 18-55mm I had to pull back to focus to get to infinity.
- Night Photography can lead to some pretty cool images, but composition is still the number one factor.
- Long exposure photography gives you a lot of time. Use it and relax.
- Try using flashlights to paint some light on subjects or help you focus.
Images from the Shoot: