Pink moon 4/25/13 @moon @pinkmoon

Pink moon

Pink moon.  Rhinelander, WI, USA.  4/25/13

Last night’s pink moon was quite stunning.  It was much ‘pinker’ low in the sky, but was obscured by the foreground from my vantage point.  This shot required two exposures since the moon is considerably brighter than the paper mill.  I exposed once for the moon, once for foreground and sky, and combined the two.  The haze around the mill precluded view of Saturn, which was positioned next to the moon.

As always, sales and portfolio available at www.chiaroscurophoto.com

Fireworks Photography

Independence Day Fireworks, USA

Independence Day Fireworks, USA

Shooting fireworks is interesting, in my opinion, from the standpoint that the primary variable relative to exposure is the length of exposure, more so than ISO or aperture. Shutter speed determines the ‘look’ of the firework. Are you looking for a vibrant, static, flower-looking shot, or lights that trail off like in this example? One has to understand that although you’re shooting at nighttime, you are not shooting in low-light conditions when shooting against a dark sky. The fireworks themselves provide their own illumination and are plenty bright at a considerable range of exposure, in my experience. The caveat to this is when shooting against a city skyline. In that case, expose for the skyline at whatever shutter speed you choose and let the let the fireworks take care of themselves. This particular July 4, I shot with a constant 10 second shutter at ISO 100, only making aperture adjustments from time to time. I found that I didn’t have any significant overexposure until I went wider than f-9 or so. This was also a slower, tele-lens rated 5.6. The camera is obviously on a tripod, and I reclined in the grass with a handheld remote, shooting constantly so I could also relax and enjoy the show. If anyone would like to share their own fireworks experience/info, please comment.

Discussion: Which photo’s best?

Although there’s not necessarily a ‘right’ answer, the question of which photo below is the best is interesting to ponder and even argue.  There are so many variables to consider beyond framing and ‘proper’ metering.  To a foreigner that had never seen the Golden Gate Bridge, the first photo might be seen as spectacular, yet for everyone in the US its recognized as the shot you’ve seen on every postcard of San Fran.  It’s not so special because its taken from the same public vantage point accessible to anyone.  we’ve seen the shot a thousand times.  I do really like the shot, however, relative to color and exposure.

The second photo has great color as well, to me, and a much narrower frame of view.  Since I’ve seen the first photo repeated so many times I find #2 better relative to composition and simply being interesting.  When you so often see the whole, sometimes looking at individual parts is more interesting.  I shoot nudes this way a lot as well.  Parts.  Curves.  Contours.

Il start about the third photo by stating it’s my personal favorite of the three.  B&W has always been my fave.  I always shoot color and make B&W conversion, and while some purists submit it’s not true black and white, I say screw that.  #3 is the same photo as #2, converted, with a slight contrast adjustment.  I love the colors in the first two, but the third photo just interests me the most.  Besides, I like dark.

Any opinions, concurring or differing are welcome in the comment area below.

BTW, here’s some very interesting links re: Golden gate.  VERY interesting reading.  http://www.npr.org/2011/04/26/135150942/the-golden-gate-bridges-accidental-color -NPR article.  http://goldengatebridge.org/research/facts.php#cmyk -Official page.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_gate_bridge -Wikipedia.

As always www.chiaroscurophoto.com is my permanent sales/portfolio page and www.chiaroscurophoto.net  is the url for this blog site.  Bookmark ’em, or you can also subscribe to this blog above to be notified of updates.

Northern lights

Taken in Rhinelander, WI USA on 7/14/12. Rhinelander is at almost exactly 45° N latitude. The biggest problem i had was at the peak, the lights were so vivid overexposed. Also, there wasnt a ton of texture. But this one turned out pretty good. My main photography site is at http://www.chiaroscurophoto.com