Monday, January 31, 2011

Day or Night?

I've been meaning to do some long exposures for awhile now. I've tried out a few beforehand, but nothing I was really too excited about. Long exposures alway seem more fun in theory. Actually being out in the frigid night air, blindly composing a shot, and then waiting several minutes to see your image is quite deterring.

With all that aside, the moon has been ridiculously bright these last few days. Ben, Jenny, and I headed out to the scenic bluffs on West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz. Ben just got his new intravalometer, which allows one to take longer exposures than the cameras preset shutter options. I was down for the idea so my girlfriend and I put on every sweater and jacket we owned and headed out into the night.

When we got there, it took a moment for our eyes to adjust to the darkness. As mentioned earlier, the moon was so bright that it illuminated the ocean and surrounding coast. There were even a few brave surfers out in the ocean catching some waves, mind you it was nearing 12AM.

We all set out to take our photos. Ben with his GH2, Jenny with her Mamiya, and me with my 5D. I threw on the fisheye hoping to get some cool results. Focusing was a bit hard so I had to guesstimate. I set up my first shot, set the ISO to 800, the f/stop to 5.6, and the shutter to 30 seconds. As I waited for the image to finish exposing, I was convinced that this capture was going to be awful. When the LCD screen illuminated with the photo that was just taken, I lit up with joy. The exposure was spot on and the composition looked nice. Because of the moon, the sky looked blue as day, and the lighthouse in the distance looked like the rising sun.

At the end of the earth.

I took about a hundred images that night. I was extremely pleased with the results. When I returned home about 2-3AM, I was so excited I began editing my photos. I only selected a handful out of the batch that I would upload. Here are a few of my favorites.

While Santa Cruz sleeps.

Day for night.

Lunar flares.

I also, shot a timelapse while I was there. Not too exciting, but whatever. I wish the photos were taking at longer intervals to show more of the clouds moving. Maybe, next time.

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