We’re challenged by our guest host this week for Lens Artists Photo-Challenge to find different images of a familiar scene.
All of us are surly familiar with our home town, our neighborhood, the street to the supermarkets or to work. But, going there at night has a very different ambient and the familiar surroundings become at once unfamiliar.
So, I picked a couple of night images taken insid a circle of approximately 5 km around my house.
As I proposed last week: the Orion nebula. Orion, the hunter, is present in the winter sky in the northern hemisphere and the nebula can be found in the sword hanging. Orion is located left of the Pleiades.
You can see the nebula even with your bare eyes, but better with a spyglass or a telescope.
… or on my way to Orion.
I was out that night for photographing the Orion nebula a couple of days ago (ok, literally it’s two weeks tomorrow). It’s located in the sword hanging of Orion right ahead. I liked the situation, how the path leads you directly to Orion. So, I took a wide-angel image first. Next week, I’m showing you the nebula.
You can easily see, how much light pollution we have here. And this is a location with only very little light pollutions in comparison to the situation in the wider area. You might remember my complaints from the past i.e. when I talked about the comet Neowise.
I took this image on Saturday before last. Near the end of this year’s winter. But starting in the beginning.
Friday night two weeks ago we got severe ice-rain. For a week we had temperatures below 0°C. So, the ground was frozen everywhere. The upper areas in the air were warmer than the lower so that we were supposed to get rain instead of snow. But, because of the frozen ground and the low temperatures in the lower air areas, the rain would freeze as soon as it reaches the ground. Very dangerous conditions, when out in the streets. All plants got wet and encased inside the ice because the rain started freezing right after coming to rest on the ground or on twigs as well as on the streets and passways.
The next day, the rain changed to snow and from Sunday the landscape turned into a winter wonderland. Very soft and quite dry snowflakes were laying everywhere, even in the lowlands. You know, I’m 200m above sea level. So, we get about 15-20 cm of snow that weekend. The next few days only a few additional flakes came to accompany those already arrived. Starting on Thursday, the weather changed again: the clouds vanished and the sun came out more and more. On Saturday we had a stainless blue sky, temperatures around -10°C (up -20°C at night).
Perfect conditions for a winter hike!
At around 16:30, when the sun was already quite low (sunset at 17:42), I noticed this golden glow in the trees. Do you remember, I told you about the ice-rain. These ice encasings are the reason, why the trees are capturing all the golden light and glowing so much.
Yesterday, I already showed you an image, how the ice encaged the twigs.
Recently, I was talking with someone about photography. Because that guy is living near Frankfurt, I was checking, where and when I published my images taken in Frankfurt. Surprisingly, they are not here on my blog. The posts are still online but don’t have any images in. I put the images on a separate gallery server that doesn’t exist anymore and set only a link to that location in the post. So, this is kind of a repost.
I was in Frankfurt for a training in November 2009. As I would have been alone in a hotel each night, I took my tripod and my camera with me and planned to go out after the training for taking some night shots in the city. That was my first trip for night photography. The difficulty is to balance the bright lights with the extreme darks while having quite long exposure times.
First I went to a certain skyscraper where you can go on top of the building to have a view over the city. The sky was proposing, unfortunately, it was extremely windy. Setting up my tripod as planned was impossible. The wind simply moved the tripod away. So, I dialed in a quite high ISO to get my shots hand-held without the tripod. The ultra-wide-angle lens allowed me to use a quite open aperture to get a good depth of field and still have the exposure time on a handleable value for hand-holding the camera despite the heavy wind.
At that time, I wasted a lot of quality not only because I had to use high ISO instead of my tripod. I also relinquished to photograph in RAW instead of JPG. For this post, I took out the original images and retouched them as much as possible. But, there was not much possible to recover.
Whenever possible, go the extra mile and photograph in raw. You have so much more quality.
After leaving the tower I also walked a bit through the city. Now, I was able to use my tripod. These images are taken at ISO 200 and aperture times of several seconds each.
What have I learned from that trip?
Not a night at the opera, but the opera at night 🙂
In fall 2015 I was in Dresden with a couple of friends. Besides other iconic buildings, the Semper Oper was also on our bucket list. In this case, I had a monochromatic image in my mind when setting up my gear for this image. I wanted to have a black sky to make the wonderful building pop out. Usually, I take my images of illuminated buildings a bit earlier during blue-hour.
For a long time, I wanted to go out photographing this bus station at night. Different from other photos taken of illuminated buildings, I opted for going out late to make sure to have a black sky. You know, usually, I go out at “blue hour” for taking such photos. I’m quite happy with the results. I really like the kind of graphical look.
As I wrote last week, today my sixth year of posting a monochrome image once a week.
The full moon on Good Friday allured me, to start a (short) photo trip quite late.
In 1982 I saw an image of star trails for the first time in a magazine (I still have that magazine in my bookshelf) and was blown away by its beauty. Starting from that moment I wanted to create my own image of start trails.
Some time later, I was in northern Germany with some friends for celebrating Easter together. One night, when all the others already were in their beds, I was still up. At that time we didn’t have a problem with light pollution as we have nowadays. Although, that region is still a quite dark region. But, all over Europe you have serious problems seeing the stars.
Back to my story. That one night, while all of my companions were sleeping, I sat alone in the dark beside my camera loaded with a slide film, mounted on a tripod and equipped with a cable shutter release to keep the shutter open for the next about 60 minutes. Back home, I brought the film to a receiving office to get the film developed. About a week later, I got the film back. Unfortunately, the film was cut in small pieces by the laboratory: one for each slide. But, they assumed the one darker image as underexposed. So, they used that space for cutting the film improperly. So, I got a wonderful star trail image cut in two pieces: 1/3 and 2/3. You can’t imaging how angry and disappointed I was. When would I be able to have a second chance?
I used a 28-70mm f3.5-4.5 zoom lens at 28mm. Not very fast, but ok.
Here in Germany, at least the weather will be happy to disturb you in your plans and send you some clouds when you don’t want them. So, I never had an opportunity to redo it. And, over time some priorities changed.
When I started with digital photography about 10 years ago, I still wanted to create a star trails image. In the meantime you were able to check online, where prosperous regions are. When looking on these maps, I got more disappointed: in Germany there is no location reachable from my home town. I’m living in the red to violet area. Even with a 200km drive it’s nearly impossible to find a location. Germany and middle Europe is very dense populated. So, only vacations would enable me to get such an image. Despite that, I checked some areas and even made some test images.
When I was on the Isle of Skye in April, per incident our talks went in the direction of photographing stars and the night sky during our last day. The weather that day was fine. Scotland is one of the darker areas in Europe and the Isle of Skye also. Everything I’d need was in my bag. I checked the weather every now and then after dinner and set my camera up at about 11 p.m.
The technique changed a bit during the last decades. Digital sensors overheat easily and the results get bad when having such a long exposure time. Instead, you have to take a series of images. All images with the same setting. Back home, you have to merge the single images into one to get your final star trails image.
In the image above, you can some clouds moving over the sky while I was photographing. Three planes (or satellites or the ISS) were passing by and in the right lower side you can see some light pollution from Broadford or Kyealakin (or both). The urban light spreads in all directions. Even the street lights are reflected by the road surfaces and send up to the sky and got reflected by the clouds. Because of the origins of the light and the kind of light this light is reflected in this ugly orange.
The light at the bottom in the middle is a house located on the other side of the Loch, about one km away, located directly at water level with the lights reflected in the water.
The above image is unedited. 29 images are merged. Each image got exposed for 30 seconds at f2.8, ISO 400 with a full frame sensor. I used a 14mm lens and a tripod.
When I saw the final result, I came up with the idea to create an animation from the images. My son was able to realize it and lay some relaxing music over the animation. Have fun!
My aim was, to show movement in urban environments.
I don’t want to tell much about the single images. Give yourself some time to look on every single image and try to understand, what you are seeing. Let the situation work on you.
Maybe, you can leave a comment in the box below for me and the other visitors, what the images meant to you and how you felt by watches them. And I’m very curious to read your thoughts.
This time, I’ve chosen a different kind of gallery then usual. Click on the first image in the gallery below and you can see it in a bigger size, navigate easily from one image to the next or back to the last one and you can leave comments for each single image as well as below the whole post.
Last week, I introduced you to the idea of a parade on the occasion of a fun fair. In my region it is usual, to hold a parade on Sunday afternoon. Many people collecting ideas, build wagons, tailor dresses for or volunteer for being part of the parade. The parade is usually supported by several marching bands and fire service bands. As usually, the night watchman led the parade this year, too.
There were 63 motives (groups, wagons, one person displays, bands) this year on the 4.5 km track around the inner city. The parade lasts about 2 hours, but I don’t know, how long the participants needed for the course. Fortunately, it wasn’t that hot and it wasn’t raining. So, there were many people in the streets watching and supporting the actors. It was warm enough, but not hot.
This time, the slide show is quite large. There are 63 photos in this slide show, so be prepared. It was hard, to decide, which motive was too bad, to be put in this selection. I skipped most of the marching bands and other “music only” displays and I even skipped some of the motives to keep it short.
For quite bigger photos, I recommend clicking on the photo above and use the clickable arrows below the photo for you further navigation.
As I told you in two of my last posts, I want to show you some more photos taken at a fun fair. Every year, there is a fun fair here, where I live. It’s always at the first weekend of September, starting on Friday early afternoon and lasting ’till Tuesday night.
As I mentioned before, I like the smell and the colorful lights, especially at night. So, I was this time also at night at the fun fair. Here you can find some impressions.
As you can see, It’s much smaller than Crange. And it’s located in the streets and a big parking ground of the inner city, instead of a big place.
I’ll write another post regarding the parade held on Sunday afternoon.
Nightflight above the north-western Ruhr area.
Enjoy a fantastic view at the area with the highest density of population, here in Germany. About 5.1 millionen people are living in about 23 bigger and smaller cities distributed over 4435 square-kilometres.
One city borders so close to the next one, that it is often hard to distinguish where the borders Continue reading “Nightflight”