Photographing the Northern Lights – Take Two

Last night, we were pretty lucky with the lights. They were fairly low in the sky (apparently meaning they’re not that strong) but it was much easier to see them with bare eyes and appreciate that they were moving than it had been the previous night. The previous night they had just looked like a greenish tinge in the sky that could have been a cloud highlighted by light pollution. Anyway, here are the results:

IMG_1772DNG18 mm, 30 sec, f4.0, ISO 8000

So, my ISO was waaaay too high and I’ve had to reduce the noise on Lightroom afterwards. Part of that came with not knowing the limits of the camera, and part of it came with leaving the remote shutter clicker thing back at the cabin, so being limited to 30 sec exposures. On top of that, part of the problem may have stemmed from the fact that I turned the brightness down on the screen so much that I overcompensated when exposing my photos. OR, I could just have a lot to learn! Anyway, as a result, my photos are quite noisy, especially in the foreground. But, when you’ve just seen the Northern Lights, who cares?!

IMG_1774DNG15 mm, 30 sec, f4.0, ISO 8000

IMG_1775DNG 15 mm, 30 sec, f4.0, ISO 8000

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06.08.12: Breaking the Rules – 200 likes!

My second “breaking the rules” post. This photo was taken a little over a year ago, but it’s on here to celebrate the fact that I have now had 200 likes on my blog – thanks everyone who’s taken the time to look at it and like photographs.

It seems that I’ve only just discovered another of Lightroom’s features. I’ve never managed to make half of a photo black and white before without messing around for a long time on Photoshop. Anyway, it’s changed the atmosphere quite a lot – for better or worse I don’t know.

02.08.12

 

 

 

I try not to edit my photos much. I think if I prevent myself from doing so, I will slowly – but eventually (fingers crossed) – end up taking better photos. It will also save me a lot of time. This, compounded by the fact that my laptop is way too slow for Lightroom to work properly – and I can’t afford Photoshop – means that I usually stick to the basics such as changing a picture to black and white, and making minor adjustments to the contrast and saturation. I enjoy messing around, though, and I find it interesting to see how, by editing the clarity (in this instance), the same picture can have two completely different moods. By going to the extremes of the clarity settings in Lightroom, it also makes it very clear how easy it is to over-edit photos and make them completely unrealistic.