Night picture requires a lot of patience. Patience to not using high iso. Patience to set up your gear so that it wont wobble or shake on long exposure. Patience to hold up yourself on cold night. Patience to imagine framing your picture, because neither the viewfinder nor live view will give you the possible result. Patience to return and start all over again to get it perfect.
I’m not a seasoned photographer or talented amateur. I just want to share my story when taking night picture. It’s not about the technical stuff. You just have to go out there and feel your surrounding. Learning trough experience is the best way to learn something.
This picture was taken yesterday. On the fourth floor balcony of my office building, I saw that tonight was an unusual night. The sky is clear, the moon is taking it’s full shape, no clouds even though this is November — a rainy season in Indonesia. It’s just beautiful. My eyes was fixated to the beauty of Dago hill that night. I want to capture the layers of hill and those colorful lights. Even though It’s already night, the sky still have color because of the moon. Also, the lights from street below illuminate the trees in the foreground. Guess I’m lucky to get this picture.
I think this is the first picture taken because of someone else request. It’s actually two picture blended together. The camera simply cannot capture whole dynamic range. Moon is very bright, and the surrounding is pitch black compared to it. I took the first exposure for the moon, and take second for the tree and light below. I also took the moon in different focal length to make it appears big.
It’s raining that night, and I saw the wind turbine standing gracefully. No wind. I don’t have tripod, so I put my camera on the ground, tilted upward a little using rocks, and set it up for 30 seconds exposure. The result is a disappointment. It’s flat and dull. It’s very different from what my eyes saw. That time I learn that camera cannot compete with human eyes. The photographer have to put more efforts to create a pleasing picture. It’s not what you see is what you get scenario.
When I was going on a trip to Ujunggenteng with my friends, we saw the moon is at it’s fullest. Immediately we crawl on wet sandy beach and start taking pictures. I try to position the camera, so that the moon is partially covered by the coconut branch. I wait until the clouds formed, and start fire away.
This is the only star left at dawn. It’s so bright that even morning light cannot swallow. I want to capture a trailing star effect, but it’s already dawn. I have to use a very small aperture to get long enough shutter speed. Using bulb exposure, I just guess how long it take to capture it before it’s overexposed. Even though I already using f/16, it still not long enough. The captured trailing star is short, but I like the result because of the sky turns out pretty.