Pic of the Week_Night Sky



The above image was made on the way home from a photography weekend in the Victorian Alps. Other than good food and great company the highlight of the weekend was a sunrise shoot looking down onto a mist shrouded valley near Mount Beauty and a trip to Mount Buffalo where I was able to make a series of shots under late afternoon light. But, as the above image shows, the weekend’s not over until it’s over. Sometimes my best shots are made during the drive home. Perhaps that’s because you’ve spent the weekend getting into the swing of things and now, at the eleventh hour, your photographic vision is heightened to the extent that you’re able to make great shots, albeit from often limited opportunities.

It was dark and I had already been driving for over an hour to the foot of the mountains when I pulled the car over for an unscheduled pit stop. You know the kind I mean. I looked up at the clear, star-filled sky and noticed the shape of a tree silhouetted in front of me. I retrieved my camera from the car, mounted it onto a tripod and set it to B (Bulb) for time exposure. With the aid of an electronic shutter release I was able to keep the camera’s shutter open while I proceeded to paint the tree, with numerous bursts of light, by firing the test button on my hand-held portable flashgun. A 20-minute exposure was required to balance the right exposure for the background with that from the portable flash illuminating the tree. Naturally it took several goes to get it right. So, an hour or so later, with the temperature rapidly declining, I jumped back into the car for the final 3 hour leg of the trip home.

I invite you to try such techniques for yourself. And there’s no reason why you wouldn’t do a bit of practice from the safety of your own backyard. You’ll find that your effort and ingenuity is usually rewarded. And it’s the old ball image that often gets the best response from viewers.

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Glenn Guy, Blue Sky Photography
Glenn Guy