Tag: Night Photography

Blog Posts

My Photo Club Contest

In 2013 when I decided to start my photography hobby I joined a local photo club.  This has been a great opportunity to improve my photography as well as learn new aspects of photography and meet some very amazing photographers. We meet twice a month.  The first meeting usually features an accomplished photographer as a guest speaker and the second meeting is our club photo contest.

I have entered several contests but as you might expect, I have not won any prizes.  That is not important, what is important is the contests cause me to try different things and have new experiences.  Our last contest used the theme of bridges for our subject. This turned out to be a nice solo adventure for me and I was rewarded for my efforts.  Usually the judge just looks at my picture and moves on. This time he actually stopped and looked at it for a long 20-30 seconds and then said “nice image“.  I felt like I had won an award!

The picture of the Key Bridge crossing the Potomac River at Georgetown is the “nice image”. The fun part is what it took to get the photo.  My adventure started with a Metro train ride to Rosslyn Virginia which is across the river from Washington DC.  When I left the train, I walked to the river and saw the bridge but the view was not very good, so I started to walk. Now Rosslyn is a mix of high rise office towers, shops and lots of traffic.  It is almost like another downtown for DC, so maneuvering through traffic to get a photo is tough.

As I crossed over closer to the river , I saw a walkway that led down to a trail near the river.  I proceeded to walk down the trail which was filled with bikers and joggers and me with my photo bag and tripod! Still no good vantage point, so I got off the trail and went walking down to the river. It was dusk and there was no one with me and the area was starting to look a little spooky.  I thought to myself “no big deal, I’m a big city kid!” I pushed aside some bushes and trash and soon was at the river’s edge with a good view finally!

There was some brick-brat on the edge of the water and I set my tripod up on that and literally stood on a small ledge and looked through my viewfinder to take some photos. After a few minutes of clicking the shutter I heard some noise. As I looked around I saw a man walking about 50 yards from me and he was talking to himself!  It was at that point that the big city kid decided he had enough pictures for the evening!

This photo was taken with my Canon Rebel T3 and a Canon EF 24-70mm L lens at 70mm. I used a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds at f11 and an ISO of 200. I hope you think it is a “nice image”.

Key Bridge crossing the Potomac River at Georgetown.

Key Bridge crossing the Potomac River at Georgetown.

 

Blog Posts

Night Photography

This month I decided to take a Night Photography class from the Leesburg School of Photography. As I have been trying to improve my photographic skills it seemed that it was time to tackle a new topic. This class was an introductory level course and it was taught by Tom Ramsay, the lead instructor at the school. Tom is a very accomplished photographer and it turns out that he was an excellent instructor! You can learn more about Tom and his photography at:

http://momentwithnature.com/Moment_with_Nature/Welcome.html

The classes consisted of a brief discussion on some topic related to night photography and then we went out to shoot with the new skills that we learned.

In the past when I had tried to photograph anything at night, my photos were of extremely poor quality. I was usually trying to increase my ISO, slow down my shutter speed and open up the aperture. It seemed that was the approach to use in low light situations. Tom taught us that we could take good pictures without resorting to exaggerating these techniques. The pictures that I am posting were all shot at 200 ISO, f8 aperture and a shutter speed of 1/40. Of critical importance was the use of a tripod and I used my new tripod on these occasions with success!

These photos were adjusted in post-processing with Lightroom 5 and all of them were cropped a little. I was very pleased with the results, especially considering my previous failures. Five of the photographs exhibit examples of invisible moving cars with just the headlights and taillights exposed. These were fun pictures to take. I had shot a few others but they were not as good as these. Two of the photos were of a modern water fountain complete with pulsing lights. These were difficult shots and I am very happy with how they turned out. The other two pictures are of a wall and two buildings. These were nice shots with great detail in the surfaces. I finally managed to get pretty good focus even with low light levels.

At this stage, I am feeling like some progress is being made with my photographic skills. I am now a member of the Loudoun Photo Club and hope to compete in some of the contests for novice photographers. In the future, I will post any submissions for your review. You can learn more about the Loudoun Photo Club by clicking this link:

http://www.loudounphotoclub.com/

Invisible car and U-turn

Invisible car and U-turn

Invisible car and Parking Lot

Invisible car and Parking Lot

Invisible car

Invisible car

Invisible car

Invisible car

Invisible car

Invisible car

Stone Wall

Stone Wall

Buildings and Walkway

Buildings and Walkway

Water Fountain at Night

Water Fountain at Night

Water Fountain at Night

Water Fountain at Night