It typically takes about 1.5 hours to 2 hours in one spot
to gather enough stardust to have a meaningful experience……and make an emotional image.
If you've heard that “using a tripod will force you to slow down” --- wait until night photography using extended exposures. You begin to stare deeply into the heavens and may even catch yourself looking deeper into yourself. Because you have time…
The challenge of course, is to bring back that meaningful experience in the form of a two-dimensional print that evokes a similar emotion in others. I find earthlings like my Night Sky Landscapes best when the landscape and the sky are accented with some light and the sky has more than a hint of blue. So, by beginning the exposure at twilight -- still gleaming from the invisible sun, the sky retains a nice deep blue color and a pleasing gradient onto the foreground. Higher ISO's make for lighter images and consequently lighter blues...
ISO 400 [allows for less noise in large prints]
f/5.6 [allows a little Depth of Field wiggle room for nearby landscape features]
5-6 minutes [nice looking, long smooth trails]
20-30 sequential exposures easily processed with ‘StarStax’ or layered in Photoshop
I recommend 'beginning' night photographers try 30 to 40 minutes in one spot. That's just enough time to be assured of a 'first' magical image and time enough to feel what it means to listen to the scene, the sky... even to your inner self. If you find yourself pacing and looking for something deeper in the dark --- take it as a clue to how close you are to a moving experience. Extend your stay...and your exposure.
Old Faithful Geyser
return to: Robert Howell Photography.com
for more information drop me a line
"Keep Looking UP"