11/20/13 Featured Arkansas Photography–Arkansas nighttime photography
Nighttime photography has become one of my greatest passions in the last 4 years. I have expanded into all types of varieties but still tend to mainly work with traditional landscape settings. Within the state of Arkansas there are so many different subjects that I have interest in working with. These range from scenes along the Buffalo River to views of the Little Rock skyline. Within all of these shots I tend to tie in working with the moon for illumination since it provides such a amazing amount of light when used in the correct proportions. I have listed some examples of what can be accomplished in a this gallery.
Here is some information behind each image in the gallery.
- Nighttime view from the Lodge on Mt. Magazine. This is a single exposure taken with a Nikon D800e for approximately 15 seconds with a 14-24 zoom lens at iso 200. In this shot was was trying to capture the full effect of the rising moon but not allow the moonlight to totally blow out the surround stars. In the right hand portion of the night sky you can make out Orion. The moonlight provides a wonderful blue hue to the night sky and eliminates all the of yellow color which is generated by local light pollution. I had to take a few extra shots of the lodge since the interior lights were blown out by the original 15 second shot.
- Big Dipper over Roark Bluff on the Buffalo River. Using a Canon 5D MKII and a 15mm fisheye lens, I was able to capture this shot in a single exposure. The big dipper is directly over the middle of the bluff and is pointed almost straight up. Over the course of one night the Big dipper will rotate around the north star and eventually will rotate below the bluff. All of the light on the bluff was provided by the moon which was about 3/4’s full.
- Ghost walkers at Sam’s Throne. Taken with a Canon 1D MKIV and 15mm fish-eye lens. On this shot I used the fish-eye lens to accentuate the effect of the pine trees on both sides of the road, in effect framing the shot. Some campers had built a large bonfire nearby and it provided an excellent source of local lighting. During the exposure of the shot, I had some people walk by with head lamps on which just added to the overall effect of the shot. This was a single exposure for about 30 minutes and I was lucky to have the fire burn overexposure on the shot. The moon was still barely out when this shot was taken and gave the excellent dark blue color to the sky.
- Midnight at Sam’s Throne and moonset. Taken with a Canon 5D MMKII, 15mm fish-eye lens at iso 2000 for approximately 20 seconds. This shot is one of my all time favorites. The night was very calm and thus all the trees were not blurred by the wind. I was able to place the moon in the small pine tree to the right of center of the shot which kept it from overexposing the shot. The moon provided an excellent amount of light to both the rocks in the foreground and the bluff line in the distance, not to mention on Sam’s Throne itself. This was taken as a single exposure. There was considerable noise in the sky, but by using Lightroom to develop the shot I was able to get a very clean final image.
- Lightening Strike over Pinnacle Mountain. Taken with a Canon 5D MKII and 24-70 lens. For this shot I was forced to move to the shelter of my car since the air was filled with static electricity. I placed the camera outside the car on my tripod and then triggered the shot with a remote release. I took several shots that night close to 20, but only got this one which captured the blot of lightening directly over the top of Pinnacle mountain. This is an example of just how much luck is involved in capturing just the right shot.
- Star trails over Roark Bluff on the Buffalo River. Traditional nighttime shot allowing the earth rotation to create star trails. I kept the shutter open for a full 45 minutes and then had to wait another 45 minutes for the camera to write a dark frame. The resulting image was one of the best night shots I ever captured up on the Buffalo River. This night was dead calm and the sky was totally clear of clouds with the temperature around 42 degrees. Just perfect conditions for nighttime photography.