12/18/2009 Winter Night

By: taigray

Dec 19 2009

Category: Flash, Long Exposure, Night

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Aperture:f/7.1
Focal Length:18mm
ISO:200
Shutter:30 sec
Camera:NIKON D70

Tonight I went out and experimented with some borrowed equipment, a Nikon D70 from my school and an old Canon external flash unit. Without knowing much about long exposure settings and how to use external flash units, I set up my tripod, set the exposure for 30 seconds, and then ran down the street setting off the flash in random places.  I got a pretty interesting effect and I’m very happy with the few images that I got. After about 45 minutes of experimenting, a thick fog rolled in and provided a very cool atmosphere, but none of the pictures that I took were really able to capture the fog, even though there were several car’s headlights illuminating it.  I tried pointing the flash towards the fog, but it wouldn’t travel far enough to be effective. Eventually, I got scared being all alone on a secluded dirt road in the fog setting off the flash multiple times, thinking that it would draw wild animals or something, so I packed up and went home.

I did have some other problems with the camera, however. I was using an aperture of 32 for most of the long exposure shots I took during the day, which got me some interesting effects, but an aperture that high would make my images start to go white in the dark. I tried lowering it to about 5 and had the same problem. For some reason, an aperture of 7.1 worked the best and that is what I used on most of my shots. I was also trying to get some shots of the stars (mainly the constellation Orion), but the stars were blown out by the reflected light from the city. I haven’t been able to get good star shots with the Nikon, but I do get some good ones with my little Kodak Easyshare, so I don;t know what i’m doing wrong. I’m going to try to go out very early tomorrow morning and hopefully it will be dark enough to get some good star pictures.

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