NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY – How difficult can it be?  Feeling pretty good about my photographic journey to this point, I decided to venture into the realm of this very interesting area of photography.

As you can see, everything seems good in the beginning.

Shot from the pier at Seal Beach, the Long Beach skyline a few moments before sunset.

copyright 2010

I specifically chose Seal Beach because I knew Long Beach would create a spectacular backdrop for a sunset, and Huntington Beach would never be outdone as a backdrop for the rising of a beautiful full moon.

Even though the sun is gone for this day, the Long Beach skyline is magnificent as it comes to life in these waning moments of daylight.

copyright 2010

OK, let the fun begin!  About an hour later, the moon begins its ascent into the evening sky over Huntington Beach.  It is absolutely breathtaking – the reflecting moonlight dances on the ocean surface as the crystal clear moon makes its evening debut over the lights of the Huntington Beach pier – now I knew this was going to be a spectacular night for photography!  You cannot imagine my excitement! With you in my thoughts, I knew this would be my best blog post to date!

Please allow a parenthetical pause to put you into the moment with me.  I’ve donned a sweater because the night coastal air can get surprisingly cool.  I’ve explored every possible position on the Seal Beach Pier – from the Ruby’s Diner at the end of the pier to the park at the beginning, I’ve staked out the best possible angles.  Next, I’ll move to the beach.  I wouldn’t want a great shot to go undiscovered. Ok, everything is ready!

Now it’s time to partner with this wonderful new camera and capture these magical scenes!  I’m shooting with my Canon 50D, using a Canon 28-135 mm zoom lens.  This is going to be great!

I’ve been studying all week – aperture, shutter speed, ISO, I’m ready for the challenge. My finger slowly, carefully depresses the shutter.  BOOM!  To my amazement, a hand comes out of my camera, slaps me in the face, and I hear it shout, “Are you kidding me???  You want to shoot with these settings??  You may as well just leave the lens cap on! Why don’t you just set me to auto???” OK – so, it didn’t really do that.  It took the more subtle approach of simply shutting down. I couldn’t find settings that would produce anything close to what I was seeing – and the moon was climbing higher into the night sky.  I quickly realized I needed to learn even more to master this very difficult aspect of photography.  But, I persisted. And, I learned.  And finally after several attempts, I captured a couple of shots – though certainly not very good.

Fast forward with me about 100 shots, and we’ll come to the final two photos of the night.

copyright 2010

copyright 2010

Even though I wasn’t very happy with these night shots, I wanted to post them so you could see.  I know there will be times when a shoot may not go as planned, especially at this early stage of my journey.  But, I want you to see that I’m not going to stop until I get the shot I want – the shot I envision.

I’ll continue to practice.  I’ll continue to learn.  And soon I’ll be posting another night shoot.  Then we can examine the improvements as well as the changes I made to achieve those improvements.

Look for a night photography “Photography Tip” in the near future, as well.

Thanks for coming along for another photo shoot!  Where will my journey take me next?  Maybe this final shot will provide a clue. That’s right, we’re heading to Scotland! Well, maybe not all the way to Scotland – but, as close as you can get without going.

What is this guy doing?

copyright 2010

I’ll see you next time!

All photography is original and falls under the protection and copyright of this blog


~ by photographyfree4all on June 28, 2010.

6 Responses to “NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY”

  1. This was great! I got quite a chuckle out of that camera of yours. Doesn’t everything seem a little overwhelming at first? Or, maybe it’s always like that–always something new to learn. Really loved the last image (before going to Scotland).


  2. The moon is very difficult to shoot. It’s the one thing at night that requires you to do the exact opposite of what you think of first. Love shooting at night, I need to plan to do it more often. =). I love the beach shots, I miss the ocean.


  3. These pictures are lovely! You’re very brave to attempt it, I think you did a good job! I really like the last picture. I only have one night photography picture and I’m honestly not sure how it turned out so well. Ha ha. It was taken before I actually read anything about shutter speed/aperture and ISO. Besides, now that you’ve struggled through it, you’ll do much better next time.


  4. Hello! Thanks for visiting my blog!! After a half hour or so it occurred to me that you might have one – so back I went to your post and shazam, here I am!! lol

    I think your moon turned out quite nice!!! I’m like you.. I’d love the perfect shot of it, how I see it. lol AND I love the pix you have done of the insects..close up, they’re wonderful – the colors are really vivid and the pix very clear! I’ll be coming back often to check your site. 🙂

    Also…thanks for the laugh. A hand came out and slapped you.. lol 🙂

    Have a wonderful day!


  5. Hi! First thanks for visiting my blog. That’s so nice.

    I’ve tried moon shots and what worked was f/8 to f/11. Now shutter speed was set at 1/125. It worked great. I only wish that I had a 200 – 300 mm lens to get closer.


  6. loved the shots… answer to question – the man is pole dancing!


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