Night Photography

I really enjoy night photographs.  Once the sun goes down everything changes.  The sunlight that normally illuminates a photograph is replaced by secondary lighting and that lighting can take unusual and dramatic forms.

Nashville, TN – July 4, 2012

Not a lot of fireworks this Independence Day.  The weather has been horribly hot and dry (record high temperature on 3 days last week and hardly a drop of rain for a couple of weeks) so fireworks have been banned due to the dry spell.  We did have a short shower come through this evening so a few people did get out and shoot some despite the ban.  It didn’t last very long though, and the reason probably had something to do with the blue lights I saw flashing down the street ;)

Night HDR – March 31, 2012

These two photos are HDR (High Dynamic Range) combinations of 5 photographs, each photo one exposure value apart.  Combining them in this manner allows a wider dynamic range (the variance of tones between pure black and pure white) than is normally available with a camera.  The human eye has a wider dynamic range than a camera does and this method allows multiple photographs to be combined to provide more range than most cameras are capable of providing.

Tennessee Sunset – July 15, 2011

I was in Brentwood this evening and noticed the sun going down behind these hills. I found the contrast of the timeless hills and the more modern antenna structures, both silhouetted by the vivid colors of the setting sun, to be interesting. Since I had my camera it only seemed fitting to record it.

Nashville, TN – July 3 & 4, 2011

The problem I have shooting firework photos is that I only have a couple of areas that I can see the sky from my deck or driveway.  Needless to say most of the good aerial fireworks launch behind the trees where I can’t see them, but usually there are a few that launch through the gaps in the trees.


Nashville, TN – April 9, 2011

I was at the Adventure Science Center tonight and took a few shots of downtown Nashville from the parking lot.


Nashville, TN – July 3 & 4, 2010

Clear skies for two nights in a row this year.  Last year it rained on July 4 so I didn’t get any photographs.  This year I got two good nights in a row.

The only problem is that there is one spot on my deck, no spots on my driveway, and no spots out front where I can see through the trees.  Needless to say most of the good aerial fireworks were going on right behind the trees where I couldn’t see them. Luckily there were several groups of people relatively close to me that were shooting right up through the gap in my trees.


Chihuly at Cheekwood – May – October, 2010

There is a display of Dale Chihuly glasswork on exhibit at the Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville from May through October.  The gardens are open on Thursday and Friday nights during the exhibit, and I just can’t help going by there and grabbing some photos of the glass.  It is well lighted and blends in beautifully with the gardens.  At night it comes alive with a brilliance of its own while the garden flora fades into obscurity.

I’ve included a few photos below however there are number of others on This Page of my site.


Moon Phases – April 17, 2010

I’ve recently developed a moderate interest in astronomy.  Unlike most of my hobbies I don’t expect this one to develop into a passion, but it is very interesting to look at the night sky through a telescope.  One of my requirements was that whatever telescope I got had to have provisions for connecting my cameras, and these are my first attempts with that combination.  The moon has been going from nothing to full the past few days (it is scheduled to be full on April 28) and I’ve been capturing photos of it through my telescope.

All photographs were taken with a Celestron SLT 1300 telescope using a 2x Barlow T-Adapter and a Nikon D-90.  The T-Adapter takes the place of the lens on my camera so there is no aperture adjustment, all exposures are at f/5.0 with an effective focal length through the telescope and 2x Barlow of 1,300mm (or a 35mm focal length of 1,950mm).

To try and give some scale to the photograph, and the size of the craters that are visible, the diameter of the moon is 2,159 miles and the average distance from the earth is roughly 235,000 miles.  Obviously some of the craters are enormous!

96% Waxing Gibbous Moon — May 25, 2010 — 1/125 second at ISO 800

This is a composite of two images and there is a faint division line on the left side of the image.

83% Waxing Gibbous Moon — May 23, 2010 — 1/125 second at ISO 800

This is a composite of two images and there is a faint division line between the top section and bottom section.

63% Waxing Gibbous Moon — May 21, 2010 — 1/250 second at ISO 800

First Quarter Moon — April 21, 2010 — 1/250 second at ISO 800

17% waxing crescent — April 18, 2010 — 1/60 second at ISO 800

This is a composite of three separate images.

13% waxing crescent — April 17, 2010 — 1/125 second at ISO 1600

This was my very first attempt at photography through my telescope.  I’m satisfied with the results but I think I can do better.

Nashville, TN – March 30, 2010

This photo of the moon was taken on March 30, 2010.  It wasn’t “Colorized”.  The moon was very low on the horizon when I took the photograph and the yellow tint comes from the light being diffused through the atmosphere.  It was shot with a Nikon D90 and 300mm lens.  1/125 second @ f/8, ISO 200.

Nashville, TN – March 27, 2010

Below are a few night shots from around Nashville.  The first two were taken right after sunset so there was still some ambient light from the sun left in the scene.


Nashville, TN – March 18, 2009

The two photographs below were taken on March 18, 2009 and are of traffic at the intersection below my home.  The disembodied “Tubes” that lights make always intrigue me.