It’s getting better, my night photography. Not by much, but there’s some progress. I studied white balance and made an adjustment. I think it helped.
Once again I slept in the tent in the backyard. Set my alarm for 3:00 a.m. and fell asleep with the camera on the tripod, ready to go. It was a hot and muggy night, but I fell asleep right away and didn’t wake until the phone began it’s gentle song.
Groggy, I pushed my sweaty hair out of my eyes and glanced up through the tent roof. I almost hoped the sky had clouded over, that the stars were hidden so I could go back to sleep. But as my eyes adjusted I had to admit there was a mix of stars and clouds up there.
Enough stars to give it a try.
So I crawled out onto the freshly mowed lawn and set up what I was hoping would be a less pink version of the sky.
I think the white balance is better on these shots than those I took the night before. But I also know I should start thinking about shooting in RAW. If I did that I could adjust the colors in post processing.
I looked into that last summer, and once, out on a walk with Katie the dog, I managed to get my camera into RAW (If I remember right it’s not difficult, but I just can’t remember anymore how to do it.) and took a couple pictures like that, then changed it back and took the same shot using my regular settings. But when I downloaded those photos the RAW shots didn’t download.
So I gave up. But clearly I should be able to figure this out. I need to go out and take more photos in RAW and try again.
Meanwhile, on night 2 of the great star shoot experiment I set up an image of my tent lit up, and hoped I got a bit of sky above. It turned out OK..lots of room for improvement…but it was fun to try.
So what have I learned?
Lots of things. Like…remember to take your glasses with you when you crawl out of a tent into the night to take pictures. Because without them you have no idea if what you’re doing is working. And don’t forget to do something with the focus. Just setting it to manual is not good if you haven’t actually set it to infinity or focused it on anything. And make sure the tripod is actually locked so it doesn’t sink in the middle of a 30 second shot. And for heavens sake, go find that remote thingy where you can hit the shutter without shaking the camera.
And mostly….it’s a lot more fun spending an hour outside after midnight in the winter when there aren’t any mosquitoes. And when sweat isn’t running into your eyes.
Stay tuned. This adventure is not over yet.