Night Photography

I have recently started to explore the art of night photography.  Unlike wildlife and landscape photography, were opportunities to get great pictures are often just around the next corner, night photography requires more effort and creativity.  The first step is to get away from cities and light pollution.  The second step is to find an interesting foreground.  Finally you need to stay up most of the night.  


In BC, I have found one of the best places for night photography is on the side or top of a mountain.  The air is clear and there is very little, if any, light pollution.  Your camera can also be left outside without the worry of someone disturbing it.

The down side with star trail images is that you only get one chance.  So all the effort could be wasted, if your exposure is wrong, or your framing is poor.  On one occasion I setup next to a log that went out into a lake. The gentle wave action on the log moved the ground next to the tripod.  The resultant star trail looked like a circular erratic heart beat.

Manitoba's Northern Lights
This picture was taken at Watchee Lodge, which I was visiting to photograph polar bears. Luckily we didn't run into any bears while we were taking pictures in the dark.
Manitoba's Northern Lights
The northern lights are very dynamic, twisting and morphing every few minutes.
Star Trail over Mount Atwell
Star trail pictures are created by taking a series of long exposure pictures over several hours, then combining the brightest parts of all the pictures.
Night Sky Over Joffre Lake
This was the first time I saw the northern lights. With the naked eye there was just a grey glow on the horizon, but when I checked the pictures I realized it was the northern lights. The camera, unlike the human eye, still sees in colour in low light. Check out the big dipper.
Milky Way over Elfin Lake
Joffre Lake Star Trails
Nootka Island Trail Calvin Falls
This picture was taken when I camped on top of a water fall. The pool at the top of the falls, acted like an infinity pool as it blended with the ocean and the sky. The effect is further enhanced with the reflection of the stars in the pool.
Star Trail at Rugged Point
This is a composite of over a 150 images to generate the star trail and the camp site.
Camping at Rugged Point
This was the second night. I was planning on trying another star trail and had everything setup in plenty of time, but then the clouds arrived.
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© MJ Palmer Ltd