Tag Archives: night

“A Distant Light”

“A Distant Light”

“The dream crossed twilight between birth and dying.” 
― T.S. Eliot

This will likely be my final image from the ‘Night of the False Dawn”, as I have chosen to call it, though I did make many more images. This image shows a cluster of pine trees on the horizon with a background of brightly lit clouds. Keep in mind, this is around eleven o’clock at night.

The light, as my previous posts noted, are caused by light pollution from the city of Toronto and are the result of ice crystals in a low cloud deck reflecting that light. It has an unsettling, dystopian look to it, not a typical, cheerful winter scene.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@82mm

0.8 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200

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“11:00 PM”

“11:00 pm”

“Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.” 
― Virginia Woolf

I thought I would do something a bit different and revisit a time and place I talked about yesterday, but from a slightly different angle and as a slightly different composition.

This lone oak tree is perhaps the most photographed tree in this area. Even to the untrained, it just calls out ‘Take my picture.”

As I said in yesterday’s post, this image, which appears as a sunrise, or a sun set was actually made at 11:00pm. The glow in the sky is the result of light pollution from the city of Toronto, some thirty miles south of this location. The effect, as already stated was unsettling, as it resembled twilight so closely. despite this, I spend several minutes making photos, trying to do it justice. I believe I accomplished that, as the colours you see her are exactly what I saw that evening.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@200mm

1/2 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Big Dipper Over Fort Stewart”

“Big Dipper Over Fort Stewart”

“The Big Dipper wheels on its bowl. In years hence it will have stopped looking like a saucepan and will resemble a sugar scoop as the earth continues to wobble and the dipper’s seven stars speed in different directions.” 
― Ann Zwinger

This past weekend, I spent a few evenings with my son, who wanted to try his hand at night photography. So, I made a few shots of my own. Night photography is not my area of expertise and I spent quite a bit of time simply ‘experimenting’. I’ve also never used my D800, so was checking to see just how different the sensor was compared with my D300, with which I had become quite comfortable a few years ago.

Conditions were not ideal, despite travelling to a “dark zone”, just east of our camper. Dark Zones are areas identified for their lack of light pollution and should be ideal places for astrophotography. I’ve included a map site if you are interested. On the evening that we travelled to nearby Fort Stewart, the moon was in an advanced waxing crescent, just high enough to light up the low clouds and obscure the fainter stars. Then, of course, the sky clouded up a bit and we had to wait for a few breaks. Add to that the plentiful mosquitoes, brought on by our wet summer, and that was the recipe we had to work with.

In the end, I ended up with a few interesting images, including this one of the Big Dipper, just above a line of trees, with the moonlight reflecting off the clouds. I have yet to see my son’s images. I’m hoping he was successful in what he hoped to capture.

Nikon D800
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm
15 sec, f/2.8 ISO 3200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Early Evening Over Marble Lake”

“Early Evening Over Marble Lake”

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” 
― Sarah Williams

I spent Saturday evening with my son, on the dock at the camper near Bancroft, Ontario. Conditions were not ideal, as there was a fine have in the sky and the waxing crescent moon had just set, but we took the opportunity to make a few images despite these conditions.

The results, while not quite what I was after, are pleasing and capture the mood from the dock nicely, including traffic on Highway 62, which runs along the west end of the lake, creating the light streak to the lower right of the photo.

Nikon D800
Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 @ 17mm
20 sec, f/2.8 ISO 3200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Nod to the Endless Night”

“Nod to the Endless Night”

“At the temple there is a poem called “Loss” carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read loss, only feel it.”
― Arthur Golden

The title for this image came to me right away, though I’m not sure I fully understand it yet. The ‘nodding’ of the fading blossoms invokes images of weariness, not death. This is the stark contrast I find when photographing these blossoms. They are tired looking, yet often brighter than they were in their prime.

It is inevitable, what comes next, the endless night, a passing from this world. Yet, there is the final brightness, which for some reason, I have become keenly aware of lately. As in the quote above, it has become more of a feeling than something that can be expressed effectively in words. It leaves me pondering the image and the multiple feelings it’s invoking for me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
2.0 sec, f/36.0 ISO 100

High Resolution image on 500px

or more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Visions of Autumn – Red Maple”

“Visions of Autumn - Red Maple”

“Fall colors are funny. They’re so bright and intense and beautiful. It’s like nature is trying to fill you up with color, to saturate you, so you can stockpile it before winter turns everything muted and dreary.”
― Siobhan Vivian

Today I started photographing fall colours a bit differently. Rather than the broad sweep of forests in full colour, I decided to look a bit closer at the branches that create this wonder. Using the black backdrop, I was able to isolate the branches and leaves to show off the finer details.

These leaves are natural, less than perfect, showing the wear and tear of a hot  and dry summer. In fact, I’m quite amazed at the depth of colours this year. I would have thought that the heat stress would have made for a mostly brown and muted autumn, but nature has surprised me with a depth and range of colour I can’t recall seeing for years.

I’ll be spending the next few days sharing more recent images of my native trees in their autumn colours, until business travel pulls me away for a few days. But till then, I’m happy to be able to share this experience with you.

Nikon D800
Nikor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.6 @ 48mm
1 .0 sec, f/20.0, ISO 200

High Resolution image on 500px:

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“Big Dipper over Fraser Lake”

Big Dipper over Fraser Lake 2013

“Constellations shine with light that was emitted aeons ago, and I wait for something to come to me, words that a poet might use to illuminate life’s mysteries. But there is nothing.”
― Nicholas Sparks

My first foray into astrophotography. Wow! There’s a heady handle!

I’ve seen so many spectacular images of the Milky Way and constellations that I was determined to try my hand at this. So, with tripod in hand, and some sage advice from the internet, I set out to capture an icon of the north, the Big Dipper, Ursa Major.

My first impression was “Man, it’s dark!”, I have to find my way down to the waterfront in the dark, try to retain as much of my night vision as possible, set up my camera without falling in the drink, and hope for the best, based on a few dubious night photography articles, not knowing what my camera was capable of.

In a nutshell, star shots require a fast lens, like my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, fully open to let as much light in as possible, a steady tripod, and a long exposure of no more than 30 seconds, because anything longer will show visible star trails. Yes, the earth turns quickly enough to show that movement in a long exposure photo. Still sticking to my maximum 200 ISO discipline, as side benefit of which is reduced noise.

Well, here goes. All set up, according to untested instructions. Frame composition, without being able to really see it…set aperture…focus…click…..wait, for longer than expected…don’t move…hope….click…look…hey, not bad! An image, vaguely resembling my intent appears as a preview on my teeny,tiny, screen. Make a few more images, just in case. Mission accomplished. More waiting. Overall , a process of hope and anticipation of what might be.

Now, back to the computer, download images, adjust in Camera Raw…smile! Images turned out, success on the first try! The Big Dipper reveals itself from the background, exactly as expected (and hoped for with crossed fingers). Unexpected surprises: there is still residual light from a sunset long since passed, lights from cottages across the lake shine brightly, and the Big Dipper dominates the frame, exactly as hoped for. Deep sigh of relief, this stuff actually works!

I’m so happy to have been able to capture this scene, which is not only familiar, but such a big part of my outdoors experience in a place which I love. It’s the first recognizable constellation to reveal itself and show itself in such a wonderful way, hovering over Fraser Lake, floating over the remains of the day. I am at peace.

Nikon D300
Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ 17mm
30 sec, F/2.8, ISo 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com