After I’d finished faffing about taking pictures of the moon the other day, I took the opportunity to practise more general night photography around my flat. We live close to the final approach to Heathrow so I thought it would be good to play about with shooting my street in the dark, and try to capture some planes at night (wait, that last bit sounded a bit super-villain. Photograph them, not steal them out of the air).
So, photographs of the moon complete, I turned my camera back towards Earth to play about. My first image was handheld, and so was not all that successful as a crisp representation of my hometown. Unless you are under the influence of certain substances.
I will admit there was a lot of deliberate camera movement whilst the shutter was open. I should probably try more of those, however, as I like the result.
Ater a while I tried some more ‘realistic’ photography, and started by pointing my camera at a streetlight reflected in a puddle.
I then tried to photograph some planes. This proved immensely difficult; they were moving objects meaning I had to go handheld, and it was so dark I was constantly fighting with the camera to get the right result. I wasn’t trying to clearly see the whole plane, of course (if I wanted to do that, I’d wait until the sun came up), I was trying to capture the wonderful way the landing lights illuminated the plane. In the end, only one was remotely usable.
Back to the drawing board on that one, methinks.
Having failed to shoot a plane (er, photograph a plane), I returned to my Gorillapod and a more brightly lit scene.
Three and a bit seconds is an exposure time I wouldn’t have even considered using a few months ago.
I then did the same to the tower block over the way.
Just behind the tower block is the flight path for planes approaching Heathrow. So I waited until something was approaching and held the shutter open until it had passed (which is slightly tricky as you don’t get a preview of what’s going on when the shutter is open, so you have to guess a bit as to when the plane has left the frame). The combination of landing lights and flashing warning lights made for an interesting result.
At this point I got slightly
mental experimental and boosted the shadows as much as Aperture would let me, bringing out the plane’s trail and creating a sort of reverse colour image.
I’m really beginning to enjoy photographing at night. Sooner or later this might manifest itself in me buying a tripod that doesn’t need a tree/fence/postbox/railing to stand on.