As New Year’s Eve approached, there were bits and pieces on the news about the 13th (“bonus”) full moon of 2012. And since we were out of the city, away from night sky light pollution and routinely spotting satellites and occasionally the International Space Station crossing the night sky, it seemed a good opportunity to head outside after dark, to work on our long-exposure photography skills.
K joined us on our first excursion, which took place the night before the full moon. It was a chilly -15C with lots of snow on the ground. We had two tripods between the three of us, ensured we were familiar with the “shutter priority” settings on our cameras and headed outside excited about the possibilities. About 20 minutes later, fingertips tingling with frostnip, we were back inside having failed miserably! Autofocus simply doesn’t work well for night shots!
The next night, K declined to join us as it was an even colder -18C (zero F). We were better prepared…shutter priority, manual focus activated and set to infinity, and one tripod per camera. Mr. GeoK had the discipline to stick with the preset focus, fiddling only with shutter speed. I switched a couple of times between full manual and shutter priority and, in the process, managed to trigger a return to auto focus. So while my second batch of night photos was as disappointing as my first batch, Mr. GeoK came back with a couple of shots that he feels are good enough to post…
As for my sad results, they’re in the digital recycling bin. I’ve borrowed three library books on night and low light photography from the local library and they’re neatly stacked on the corner of my desk. Now I just need to find the patience and perseverance to read them!