Night Photography / by Stephen Ball

This week's blog is about night time, long exposure photography.  We were out on Saturday night and, when we left the restaurant, there was a fantastic moonlit Levanter streaming from the Rock.

Never one to be without a camera, I had my trusty little Nikon V1 with me, plus a small gorilla pod mini-tripod.  Walking home from the restaurant, we found a couple of good angles to capture the whole Rock and the Levanter.  I set up the V1 on the tripod and managed to secure it to a fence and checked the composition.  All looked good so it was time to set the exposure.  I was shooting at f/9 and base ISO (100) - this gave me an exposure time of around 25 seconds.  As I didn't have a remote shutter realease, I set the self-timer on the camera so it took the picture 5 seconds after I pressed the shutter.  This gave plenty of time for the gorilla pod to stabilize after the shutter was pressed in case it caused any vibrations.

The images were shot in RAW as usual and were run through Lightroom for some post-processing.  I had the cool off the White Balance slightly to take the orange edge off some of the lights and also lifted the shadows to bring out some of the darker detail and dropped the highlights slightly.  Some noise reduction was applied as lifting shadows does tend to introduce some noise to photos, especially when shooting with a smaller sensor camera as I was rather than the usual full frame D800 DSLR.

I've uploaded a couple of the images below - the long exposure time gives a nice 'smoothed' look to the Levanter cloud.

Check back next week for another blog!