Last month, a fellow photographer hosted a nice discussion on her blog about post processing – do we do it, how much, personal reasons and some discussion of ethics. While I might wish to be a purist, it reminded me of how much fun I used to have in the darkroom, dodging, burning, measuring and masking to superimpose or just for finer exposure adjustment. So for June I gave myself the project of working on images that captured high detail in camera and required extensive post processing. Continue reading

Bodie Workshops

It’s been a busy month and I’ve fallen delinquent to my post.
Had a nice family vacation riding Galloping Goose 5 on the C&TRR line and then returned for a weekend workshop in Bodie lead by Jeff Sullivan and Lori Hibbett.

This workshop was a special treat. We were permitted late night access into the park from 6pm until 1am, allowing plenty of time for star trails or light painting and then interior access into several of the building the following day. Continue reading

California Missions – a twist of fate and night photography for CMSA

Sorry for the re-posting of this article. Unfortunately, for some reason hackers decided this posting was necessary for their use. After changing all my security settings and completely redoing this site, a few still found their way in, so I was forced to delete this post and start again from scratch.
Again, I would like to extend a special thank you to David Bolton, California Mission Studies Association and Kim Johnston, Cultural Global Media for all their hard work in helping me obtain permissions to photograph and be on the properties at night.

I first started photographing the California Missions at night while attending city College of San Francisco back in the mid nineties utilizing the full moon as my natural light source.
I had only visited a couple of the Missions and found the night time visits peaceful and relaxing. They also brought me a special sentiment for these beautiful landmarks.
In the quiet of the night, one can sense the history, while seeing a unique vision of the various architecture. The night skies also permit a great opportunity to see the Missions in a truly Black and White view. Continue reading

Light Painted Night Photography – A Great Read

I’ve loved photographing at night ever since my first photography class in high school. Everything at night is so different than what we are accustomed to seeing in daylight.
The land/cityscape changes, the sounds are different, people and wildlife act different, even the smells are different. The night offers a sense of tranquility often sought in the creative mindset. It’s a great world to be out and about in with a camera.
Every photography class I ever took offered at least one lesson in night photography and light painting. Even though I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to get out at night, I never really enjoyed the light painting part of the course. Somehow I couldn’t see how polluting a scene with light was enhancing what I could see in the dark.
A few years back I saw some light paintings from the rural desert region where I now reside and decided to search the web for more examples.
One of the first sites I came across was “Lost America” by Troy Paiva and I have been completely captivated with his work and light painting ever since. For the first time instead of seeing harsh light corrupting my sacred darkness I was seeing this form of work as an art, much like looking at how a person would paint or draw a picture. Continue reading

Best lenses for night photography

I just read a great article by David Kingham about the best lenses to use for night photography.
Photographing at night doesn’t requires high-end lenses and usually the most basic lenses will perform quite well, especially with a DSLR.

The author points out one of the most important features of a lens for night photography is the amount of light your lens will let in, providing you with the best options of a lower ISO to reduce noise. He mentions this is one advantage of primes over zooms. Primes having a fixed focal length usually offer a wider aperture, though he does offer some nice zoom options for those of us who use both. Continue reading