I just came back from a wonderful weekend spent out at the tip of Point Reyes. The seminar on night photography was led by Harold Davis, who has been photographing in the night for years. His amazing photos can be seen on his blog or his night photography website. The weekend started Friday night with a hike out to Chimney Rock to set up cameras and start making long exposures. We could barely see a strip of light off in the distance, which was San Francisco. Since there wasn’t much else out there, pictures weren’t too exciting. We experimented and learned to fiddle with the settings in the darkness, though.
I had my small timer with me and used it to time some exposures. At one point, I was waiting for it to go off after about 9 minutes and finally decided it wasn’t running (I couldn’t tell in the dark) so I closed my shutter. I actually got a picture that was visible on my small preview screen. It turned out the exposure was over 23 minutes long (at f/4)! That turned out to be my best picture from out there. Although it’s really not very exciting (and a little fuzzy), I was happy to get it. This shot is looking east towards Drake’s Beach and the bright light is at the beach, I believe. Some of the light on the clouds are reflected car lights or town lights in the distance.
We stayed at the historic Coast Guard Boathouse and on the way back most of us set our cameras up to shoot the building from the bluff above it. The outside light was a bit too bright compared to the other lights, however, I decided I liked the circular flare that it made in this picture. In the upper left you can also see the light from one of the participants as they headed down the road toward the building. (This exposure was only 45 seconds long at f/5.6.)
A few more shots to come tomorrow, I hope…