2018-01-28: The frozen world at night

I have a bit of a love / hate relationship with night photography in winter.  The biggest pro is the incredibly short days which means I don’t have to stay up late to capture night sky photos.  The biggest con is the possibility of incredibly cold temperatures, which makes being outside for any length of time taking photos rather painful.  And of course the trouble is, the clear sky nights tend to be much colder than the overcast ones.

Last night though everything lined up rather nicely.  A beautifully clear sky, temperatures only in the -12C to -15C range, which isn’t tough to manage, and a lovely recent dusting of snow on all the trees.  I find the fresh snow and the moonlight a beautiful combination, and I am glad I had the chance to try and capture it.

This was the first time I used my Fuji camera for night photography and I am quite happy with the results, though I definitely need a lot more practice with it.   I was surprised that my 10mm – 24mm lens produced a starburst effect from the moon at f4; that is something I will need to do more research on as I was used to getting that phenomenon at apertures in the range of f16 and smaller with my old Nikon set up, though to be fair that was with a 28mm – 300mm lens; I have no recollection what my old  Nikkor 10mm – 24mm did.

I did have one major missed opportunity yesterday evening.  I only brought out one camera with me, and while my camera was busy processing an image with the long exposure noise reduction, a deer popped out of the woods and stood highlighted by the moonlight for a few wonderful moments before heading off.  Of course, the camera wasn’t able to do anything while the processing was happening, so I missed the shot.  Note to self, always take both cameras when doing longer exposure work.

A few random thoughts on night photography in winter: dress appropriately, know your gear, make sure you can operate your gear with gloves on, and stay safe!

I only have two images to share today, I hope you enjoy them.

20180128_TheFrozeonWorld_JSawicky
The moon was behind me, lighting up the snow on the trees, and allowing for a faint view of the stars.  10 sec, f4, ISO 1000

 

20180128_TheFrozeonWorld_JSawicky2
A moon bright enough to cast shadows in the snow.  8 sec, f4, ISO 1000

 

Please visit:
www.jennifersawickyphotography.com for wildlife, landscape and nature inspired artwork.

and

https://shopvida.com/collections/jennifer-sawicky for textiles inspired by my photography.

 

2016-03-06: What I’ve seen this week

I took my camera with me everywhere this past week, but just didn’t have any inspiration to use it.  It happens sometimes!  Last night though was brilliantly clear, so I headed outside for a couple shots of the stars.  I was too tired to head anywhere more exciting then my front yard though.

Here are a couple shots from last night.

Have a great week everyone!

20160306_What I've seen this week
I do love that I can walk outside to inky blackness like this. I wish I would have had the foresight to see what stars I was photographing last night.
20160306_What I've seen this week-2
I put the Tamron on my D5100 to get an effective 900mm lens. I had read and heard before that the movement of the stars is exaggerated by longer lens. Is it ever. This is Jupiter at 20sec, f6.3, ISO 800
20160306_What I've seen this week-3
The best I could do with frozen fingers – Jupiter and one of it’s moons. 1.6sec, f6.3, ISO 2000

Northern Lights and Proton Arc

The aurora forecast looked promising last night, so I decided to try and stay up and see if I could see anything.  I am surprised with how great the photos turned out, as frankly it wasn’t as vibrant to my eye as it was to the camera.  But, it wasn’t really dark yet either, at least at the start.

I didn’t know what it was until I saw it mentioned on some other people’s photos, but I captured a proton arc last night as well!

Most of the streaks through the photos are satellites, but there was one brilliant meteor that passed through as well.  Unfortunately, it rained yesterday afternoon and the evening was quite damp, and I ended up with some condensation on my lens on the later photos, which put halos around the brightest of the stars.

All in all though, I am really, really pleased I stayed up!  I hope you enjoy, have a great evening!

A beautiful display by mother nature! All photos 30sec, f3.5, ISO 2500. Taken with a Nikon D610 with the DX 10-24mm wide angle lens, using the cameras built in interval timer.
A beautiful display by mother nature! All photos 30sec, f3.5, ISO 2500. Taken with a Nikon D610 with the DX 10-24mm wide angle lens, using the cameras built in interval timer.

20150816_Northern Lights-7

20150816_Northern Lights-10

20150816_Northern Lights-11

20150816_Northern Lights-12

20150816_Northern Lights-15
The proton arc stretched out above. I had no idea what I was looking at!

20150816_Northern Lights-13

20150816_Northern Lights-17

20150816_Northern Lights-18

20150816_Northern Lights-16

20150816_Northern Lights-8

20150816_Northern Lights-14

20150816_Northern Lights-5

20150816_Northern Lights-9
When the interval I has set was over, I swung the camera about 90 degrees to capture the proton arc crossing in front of the milky way.
20150816_Northern Lights
There are lots of satellite trails, but this one was definitely a meteor.

20150816_Northern Lights-3

20150816_Northern Lights-2
The green along the tree line really shimmered and danced. It’s a shame the condensation caused those halos around the stars.

20150816_Northern Lights-4

Here’s a quick time lapse I did of the sequence of photos I took.  I think it does a nice job to show the beautiful movement in the sky.

More night skies

I managed to get another evening in of night photography on the 11th (and then couldn’t manage to stay awake past 8:30 last night…)  I let me camera do its thing and was curled up under a blanket with a glass of wine, and consequently lost track of how many meteors I actually saw… it was a lovely evening though and here are a few photos I thought I would share.

Have a great evening!

3 meteors featured in this photo (all concentrated to the top right)
3 meteors featured in this photo (all concentrated to the top right)
2 meteors in this shot, again towards the top right.
2 meteors in this shot, again towards the top right.
3 in this one, 2 top right, one amongst the clouds
3 in this one, 2 top right, one amongst the clouds
I just caught the start of one here.
I just caught the start of one here.
The start of a meteor and also getting a glimpse of the milky way.  I should have adjusted my ISO by this point, but I was more interested in watching the sky and drinking my wine :)
The start of a meteor and also getting a glimpse of the milky way. I should have adjusted my ISO by this point, but I was more interested in watching the sky and drinking my wine 🙂

Night Skies

Yesterday, for the first time since I moved, I managed to stay awake to see the stars.  I’m sure that sounds a bit funny, but summer nights are long in southern Canada, and even longer now that I have moved quite a bit further north.  And this early bird does have trouble staying up past 10…

But, I managed last night and got my camera set up hoping to catch a bit of the meteor shower (I saw one, and captured a few faint trails before I called it a night).  What I was most impressed with though was the clouds.  The first shot in the photos I am posting was taken at 10:30, and the last at 10:59 (okay, I didn’t manage that far past 10).  The moon wasn’t up yet, and I live far from from city lights.  I didn’t do anything other than export the photos from lightroom, they were taken with auto white balance, and all at 30 seconds exposure, f3.5, ISO 1000 (with my focus set to infinity).

If you look really, really closely in the last two photos, you might see the faint evidence of a meteor.

I’m excited for playing around more with night photography.  I must say, it was fun to get set up on on my back deck with a couple beers and watch the sky for awhile and take a few photos.

Have a great evening everyone.  It’s pretty overcast here tonight so I’m going to give the late night shooting a miss – maybe tomorrow though 🙂

20150808_Night skies 20150808_Night skies-2

20150808_Night skies-3

20150808_Night skies-4

20150808_Night skies-5

20150808_Night skies-6

20150808_Night skies-7