Posts tagged ‘Night Photography’

March 27, 2016

Milky Way by Night

Somewhere, Something incredible is waiting to be known. – Carl Sagan

As Spring comes up, so does the galactic arm of the milky way. Due to the curvature and constant movement of the earth, the Milky Way is below the horizon during the months of November to February, and can be enjoyed with the galactic center from March to October (if you live in the northern hemisphere).

This shot is from the one of the most known Perseids meteor shower from the past year. We drove around the Green river state wildlife area and luckily chanced upon a remote road. As I light painted the foreground with Coast HP7,  the meteor sparkled across the night sky. One of the stars even decided to play the head of the comet.

Looking forward to more adventurous nights this year :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

 Perseids (08.13.2015) @ Green River State Wildlife Area
Harmon, Illinois, USA
August 17, 2015

Stroll by the River @ 2 AM

The Perseid meteor shower, is associated with the comet Swift-Tuttle and appears to streak out of Perseus constellation. Perseids usually is visible around 2nd week of Aug. With little or no moon to ruin the show, this was a great year for watching the Perseid meteor shower.

Every time the comet dives in towards the sun, it leaves a trail of rocky icy bits along its path like a cosmic, frozen Hansel and Gretel trail. This trail can remain intact for decades after the fact and gets refreshed with each new pass (the last of which was in 1992 and the next one is 2126). As the Earth barrels through the debris field, all the little bits in it’s way burn up in the atmosphere, creating brilliant streaks across the sky. Even particles the size of the sand can create some lovely views like this.

 

2 AM in the Morning, Watching the milky-way, Sipping a cup of hot tea – is an experience unto itself. Add a shooting star and what more can u ask for :)

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print    Perseids Meteor (08.15.2015)
Blue River, Wisconsin, USA
November 30, 2014

Storm in the Skies

After driving for 14 hours straight, I thought, all I would want was to get some break and sleep. But I was wrong ! As we reached the Smoky Mountain National Park and set the tent well into the darkness, the conditions were just ripe to explore some stars and was too tempting to miss ! The moon was not up, it was one of the darkest skies that I had seen in a while. It took a while to drive around and identify a spot, safe enough to shoot shoot the stars with some interesting foreground. Being new to the place, the mystery of the night and the sound of the rushing stream near by, added to the experience. The clouds were moving pretty fast, and helped set the mood of this shot to a great extent.

As for the processing of this shot : it was aided by the nifty Photoshop script(s) – Creative Trails UI & Creative Effects UI. I wrote a whole article about these scripts over the weekend. You can download the scripts here (for free, of course !) . If you are into photography do take some time to check it out.

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Elkmont Road, Tennessee, USA
June 30, 2014

Vivekananda Memorial Rock, Kanyakumari

Kanyakumari, the southern-most tip of India, is around 90 km away from Trivandrum and is located in Tamil Nadu. Kanyakumari has now become a famous tourist spot and anyone who goes there does not miss visiting the Vivekananda Rock Memorial.

Swami Vivekananda himself visited Kanyakumari in December 1892. It has been debated that Vivekananda plunged into the roaring waves and swam across to reach those large rocks. People, even today, dare the swim across, hence it definitely was a possibility. He spent three days and three nights on that rock. The roaring ocean was all the company he had. He saw religion to be the life-blood of India’s millions. He realized in the silence of his heart that India shall rise only through a renewal and restoration of that highest spiritual consciousness. He saw her greatness; he saw her weaknesses as well, the central one of which was that the nation lost its individuality.

There was a lot of controversy on the initiation of the memorial at this location, predominantly relating to religious clashes (according to Wikipedia). Though ironical, it is really sad that many a times, we miss the forest for the trees.

Anyway, today you can take a ferry to the rock. It is peaceful, serene and well maintained. It definitely is a place to sit and reflect, if you really want to :) And as you can see, it is a pleasure even watching this rock from the shore, once the sun goes down and it is all lit up. On right is the Thiruvalluvar statue. At 133 feet high, this depicts the 133 chapters of the Thirukural.

You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. – Swami Vivekananda

Canon XSi : Tamron 18-270 mm : ISO 100 : 46 mm : f4.0 : 30 sec 

Buy Print Vivekananda & Thiruvalluvar Memorial
Kanyakumari, TamilNadu, India
May 21, 2014

Majestic Milky way @ Bond Falls

This is a single RAW shot processed for the milky way. The ambient light bought in the details of the falls and bit of reflections.  Shot this while chasing the Perseids last year. I liked this shot for how this brings out the grandeur of the milky way. At the same time, it is amazing how walking couple of steps and lighting the foreground can bring in such a different feel. Here is the shot with a bit of light painting on the foreground.

It is amazing how much camera’s can see these days, but still – far superior is what the eyes can see :)

darkness of the night
stillness of the forest
rumbling of the falls
twinkling of the stars
grandeur of the milky way 
– adorned by a shooting star !

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec

Buy Print   Perseids & Milky Way Over Bond Falls
Trout Creek, Michigan, USA
April 23, 2014

u & i are star material …

u & i are star material, i mean even literally :)

Was watching Cosmos : A space odyssey yesterday, what an amazing journey. Earlier I learnt about Carl Segan for his quotes, specifically from the 1980 TV series – Cosmos. And Neil Tyson definitely raises the bar with this new series. A must watch – if you already have not. The full versions are available online for free (for a limited time). Time well spent and you know, there is an app for that too :)

Watching the series, predictably bought back thoughts of some amazing night photography and a realization of how wonderfully insignificant we are, in the grand scheme of things. It was a lovely night, out at Mt. St. Helens.

If you are interested in star photography – do check out this guide to get started or this one for creative processing !!!

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 100 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec 

Buy Print   Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mt. St. Helens, Washington, USA
July 29, 2013

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star …

Twinkle twinkle little star, how I wonder what you are …
Up above the world so high , like a diamond in the sky.

When the blazing sun is gone, when he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light, twinkle, twinkle all the night.

Then the traveller in the dark, thanks you for your tiny spark,
He could not see which way to go, if you did not twinkle so.

In the dark blue sky you keep, and often through my curtains peep,
For you never shut your eye, ’till the sun is in the sky.

As your bright and tiny spark lights the traveller in the dark,
Though I know not what you are – twinkle, twinkle little star.

 

It has been so many years that I totally forgot the lyrics of this lovely rhyme.  On second thoughts – never mind – I wouldn’t have remembered past the second line, even if you had asked me then :P In the days of yore, one can only imagine how close people would have been with nature to be inspired to create such simple yet acclaimed art.

But these days, it is really unfortunate, that we are spoiling our night sky with all the light pollution. Did you know that nearly $2.2 billion dollars is spent every year in the U.S. alone on light that is wasted because it is spilled up into the night sky where it’s not needed. I drove 2 hours for this shot to get to a decent dark sky area, but still there were jarring lights on the horizon. It is high time we spread the word and raise some awareness to protect our night sky for our kids. And don’t forget to turn off the lights on Aug 12, 2013, if possible make it a habit :)

This weeks shot is from Green River State Wildlife area. And if you would like to create shots like these, check out the article – Stacking up the Stars – for the technique, Photoshop script (free download of course) and sample files to try hands on. The below is just one of the many ways you can process using the script (Creative Style Option 1 + Star Spike Pro). If your are getting started with night photography, check this write up – Sleeping with the Stars :)

You weren’t just a star in the sky, You were the whole damn sky …

Canon 7D : Canon 10-22 mm : ISO 2500 : 10 mm : f3.5 : 30 sec [86 shots]

    Its raining Diamonds, Green River
Harmon, Illinois, USA
January 2, 2007

The Quest – HDR & Night Photography

I am beginning to like the combination of HDR and long exposures. If you have not heard of HDR u might want to check this, this and this.

I challenged if, the indoor (the bookshelf with the lighting), the street in the back and the statue with the appropriate lighting could be captured, with out being washed out or under expososed. After a couple of long exposure , I decided to go with HDR and this is the result. How do u like it ?

This marble state is in front of the Standard Insurance building, Portland, OR (pushpin 1 – wow this is amazing, u could see where this statue is located, Tx live) . Though this is named "The Quest", I read the locals call it "The Three Groins in a Fountain".

Not sure y this statue is so notorious , while most of the other art work at Portland get much applause.

P.S : when I was looking for some information on the above , Google , yahoo and live.com failed to return appropriate results for "Portland statue" "Portland white marble stature" "Portland nude statue" and all combination. I finally got the information I was looking for from Flickr. Yes Flickr !!! – the photo sharing site.

Though the same in Google Image search and Live Image returned one of two images of the above , those sites did not have much information. In some cases it was a cached copy.

On the other had the tag search in Flickr gave the most appropriate results. Once I got the name of the statue (converted it to text – "The Quest" from the above image) Google was the King.

Flickr (and most of the social networking sites) are building up so much data around them and have a great potential to deliver things the machines are not yet able to perform well. Looking forward to how Yahoo (yes if u r not aware Flickr is part of yahoo) would leverage this toward Image Search.

November 10, 2006

Reflections @ Hawthorne

My first try on Night Photography. It was a beautiful day, rather beautiful night. A walk on the willmate river @ Portland was always refreshing , but that late night stroll was entirely a rejuvenating experience

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