Night Shots

Recently I have been wanting to do some more startrails which is one of my favorite subjects but unfortunately the sky hasn't been playing ball for me, stoping me from getting the shots I want.
What I love about photography is being able to improvise and make the best out of a bad situation and come away with some keepers.

I looked out of my back door and saw a clear sky with loads of stars so I excitedly got together my crammed full camera rucksack, tripod and some torches then headed down the seafront.
When I got to the seafront the clouds where already coming in thick and fast so I had to improvise and think fast on my feet to grab something before the stars disappeared.
Knowing startrails where out of the question I took a straight long expsoure to capture a shot with some stars and foreground interest.

Martello Tower Eastbourne

I used the Martello tower as my foreground interest which was a great looking structure to include in my shot.
Thanks to my intervalometer I could change the exposure length precisely and to the second.
The shot above was a 60 second exposure and as the moon was to my right I didn't need to illuminate the tower with my torches as the moon done the job for me.
No startrails but a great picture to come away with.

Two nights later same again, looked out saw some stars grabbed my gear and jumped in the car.
Got to the beach and alas I was hampered by cloudage again.
I stuck on my creative eyes and improvised to come away with some cool night shots.
The moon was helping me again tonight lending me those strong rays of light hitting the seawater.
I used the moonlight by positioning myself where the moonlight was creating a lovely shadow of the beacon in the sea.
To get this shot I experimented with different exposure lengths thanks once again to my intervalometer, settling on a 90 second exposure.

Beacon in the moonlight

After taking a few shots the moon started to show itself in the gaps in the clouds so I tried a shot I have seen a few times but never tried myself before.
I took out my Nikon 70-300 VRII lens and attached it to my Nikon D300s and zoomed right into the moon.
Even at the extreme end of my zoom the moon was still small in the frame but I knew I could crop in later in post processing.
I was in manual mode which was great as the cameras exposure meter would be fooled by the small bright white blob stuck bang in the middle of all that black.
The settings I chose was
  • ISO 200
  • f/9
  • 1/80 sec
  • 300mm


Full Moon
I cropped into about 80% to make the moon look as large as it is here, really pleased with how it looks.
The camera see's things we don't see sometimes as I was shocked but happy with all those stars surrounding the moon which didn't look like this at the time, through my eyes anyway.
The pictures I have seen of the moon didn't have the stars around it like this one so I was over the moon, ahem cough cough sorry about the pun lol.
Just goes to show if you don't get the shot you have planned or went out to get don't give up just adapt to the situation and come away with something.
Try different things, think outside of the box, look for different angles and perspectives, try different lenses, do things you haven't done before and experiment, this way you may learn something new.

So there we go I went out to do startrails and came away with three totally different pictures due to the weather conditions, three really good pictures.

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