So — my travails along the unbelievably steep learning curve continued last night, as I went out for the first time ever to shoot long exposures and the sunset. I’ll show you some of the shots, and then I’ll tell you what I learned. (It’s pretty embarrassing…)
This first one was about 6 minutes after the sun dropped behind the trees:
Pretty unremarkable (imho), and also pretty typical of here.
Undaunted, I took a series of shots (okay, it was… like… 60) over almost an hour. This one was about 13 minutes after the sun went down:
Better than the earlier shots, as the sky went progressively more orange.
For those of you who don’t know, Katy is being developed at an astonishing pace, and the “Katy Prairie” is going down fast. The site I chose (it was the first I came to that was unobstructed by massive housing developments) was actually a leveled, cleared area surrounded by earth-moving equipment. About 22 minutes into it, I decided to add some context:
I kind of like this last one, in spite of its message.
Here’s what I learned:
1. I have dust on the sensor. What that means is that no matter how spotless the lens, there are black spots that show up on images now. ARGH!!!! The good news: I was able to clone them out. The bad news: There will no doubt be a shot, very soon, that will not let itself well to cloning or post-processing repairs.
2. The noise on a night shot goes up quickly, and at everything above 400 ISO, things were so grainy that they looked hideous.
3. I was trying to manually set the white balance, but evidently I haven’t a clue what I’m doing, since some shots exposed perfectly and required no levels adjustmens, while others were underexposed. Apparently, just holding up a white sheet of paper in the darkness isn’t particularly helpful for the camera. (LOL!!!) In fairness, I deliberately under/over-exposed a few, to see what would happen — and of course now I’m not sure which ones those were.
All in all, an excellent adventure, and the best outcome of all was that I’m no longer afraid of taking night shots and trying longer exposures. It’s fun!
Oh — and does anybody know how I handle it when the shutter needs more than 30 seconds, and the display tells me “bulb”?????