Serenity

Once again I find myself together with my camera out to get the shots I want when the day is going towards an end.

There is something very special with the time when the darkness falls upon us. I like how everything falls to rest and how the light is more crisp. Where I live in Norway the autumn and later the winter brings the darkness rather early in the day. It is a perfect place for photographers loving that time of the day. In the summer it doesn’t get really dark and such photos require you to be up really late, and still it isn’t the same.

With me I had my primary camera, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, with my most used lens, Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L. As well as my tripod, from Benro, and the Lee filter Big Stopper.

When I work I first find the motive I want to shoot. I shoot at ISO 100 or 50, and get the lighting correct for the shot.

Shot1

This is shot with  1/60s f/14 at 24mm

It gives an idea of how the photo should be. I then wanted to freeze the water, or even out the motions of it. So I placed the camera on the tripod. Focused correctly, measured the lighting again, placed my lens on manual focus. When I place the Big Stopper filter on the camera will not be able to focus and autofocus is no use. I also block out the back of the camera to avoid getting lighting trough there.

I use a remote to take the photo, it is important to reduce all the options for unnecessary motions.

IMG_2878

As you can see on this photo my tripod has no legs extended. The reason for this is that I want a low angle of approach into the photo. This requires me to sit on the ground when the photo is taken.

Using my cheat sheet I have found here makes it easier to calculate the shutter times.

I calculated this shot to be 8 seconds shutter, but after seeing it and looking at the histogram, I decided to increase the shutter time. I ended at 13 seconds before I was happy. What is also important to remember is that at this time of the day, it gets darker rapidly, which means that shots taken later on will require more light.

I am happy with the turnout of the shot. I experience I captured the essence of the moment and retold it as i wanted to do.

Seeing this photo few will be able to understand that it is taken in an metropolitan area with around 1,5 million people.

“Blue hour” – Long exposure time

I wanted to go to the shore and take some nice exposures of the light that is during the so called «blue hour», which is the time right before it gets dark after sunset.

I chose to go to the peninsula Bygdøy that is in the south of Oslo. Here I had good sight towards the light industrialised area Fornebu, with the headquarter of among Telenor.

It was clear weather and almost not wind. There were just a few waves on the fjord. If it had been more waves the water would have ended up being more diffuse. I placed the camera on a tripod in the shore of the water, as I wanted the rocks there in the foreground. I used the widest angle of my Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L lens, 24mm, and set the aperture for f22. This ensured that I required a lot of light to make the exposure work. As the manual exposure settings on my Canon 1D Mark IV does not support more than 30 seconds shutter, I needed to use the bulb menu. I already had to use a remote. I now also have to time the shutter speed. I needed a shutter speed of about 60-80 seconds. The camera has a timer on its upper display, but it has no light (for that long) and I do not want to light the camera with a flashlight adding unnatural light to the shot. Therefor I use my cell phone.

I took a few different shots in different angles and soon discovered that taking photos in the opposite direction of the sun required far longer exposure times, obvious. I did some experiment with 4+ minutes and lighted the foreground with a flashlight. A project for another time.

I am happy with how the photos came out. After a little touchup in Adobe Lightroom they were ready to go. I always shoot in RAW, so some editing is always needed.

At higher angle
A lower angle