Long Exposure

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A bit late, but I decided to try Jen's photo challenge for long exposure last night because it was a clear night, and the moon was out. I don't know how many times I've looked into the back yard and seen the shadow of our maple tree on the snow. The 'moon shadow' I should say. At night, when the moon is out, the shadow of the tree on the snow is one of my favourite images. Last night, coming home from a date with DH (where we went to the mall - snicker at will), I noticed a bright moon. I'm not sure if it was full. It was also darn cold out, so not a cloud in the sky. "Cold and clear".

I went with my tripod into the back yard, but the tree shadow wasn't cooperating. In fact, it wasn't there at all! I had tried to capture it before, and the autofocus just couldn't figure out where to 'look'. Last night, I intended to use the manual focus to get the shot I wanted.

I looked up in the sky to see where the moon was, trying to figure out why there was no shadow, and realized that my original plan was (ahem) 'out the window' because the moon, and the sihouette of the branches of the self-same maple were stunning. I took my old, clunky, second-hand tripod and tried to set it up to point up at the moon. I set my camera to 1600 ISO, knowing it would be grainy. In hindsight, I might have dialed down the ISO and set up a longer exposure. Note to self: do that next time.

I tried an exposure of one second and increased the exposure using my RAW processor (Bridge). I find this photo compelling and I would love to splurge and get this printed and hang it somewhere. I'm a bit of a fanatic of 'tree' art, meaning any art that features trees. This would fit right in hanging somewhere in my house.
The second photo was an exposure of 6 seconds, again at ISO 1600. I didn't change the exposure in RAW, or change the photo except to crop it. The moon was closer to centre than I wanted. The interesting thing is that the graininess isn't as visible, and the photo was a lot sharper too. It could almost be mistaken for a photo of a cloudy day. In the lower right corner, there is an anomaly which I can only presume is some kind of reflection or lens flare. I rarely shoot directly at a light source, so it is my first time seeing this. I attempted to remove the spot using the spot healing brush, the patching tool and the healing brush. I also found something called 'lens flare' in one of the menus, but it was to ADD lens flare. Any idea how to fix this?


Jen January 12, 2009 at 7:38 PM  

Could it be a pixel burn? I just read something about that with long exposures. Maybe google that...?

Nice pics btw, I really like the first one.

Mike January 13, 2009 at 4:47 PM  

I love them both, but prefer the first one; there's something surreal about it that appeals ot me.

Some time when you get a chance, could you explain RAW to me - it's the only part of my new camera I don't understand, and I can't find an explanation that I can follow (aging brain cells?).

Christine January 13, 2009 at 6:39 PM  

Cool photos Beth, glad you decided to give it a go, I'm still working on that challenge :)

Was there possibly a lightsource coming from behind. Sometimes with the long exposures light can enter through the viewfinder, even if there are no lights on...so you can try and block the viewfinder during the exposure. See if that helps.

This weeks challenge is simple: Black and White - because of the boring gray weather... :)

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