Water is a fun medium to shoot during the day but at night it is a real challenge. While the camera focused on the surface of the water it wanted to pick up the reflections in the water and try to focus on them instead. I took these photographs strictly for artistic flair. The challenge was to get the light reflection in the water the way I wanted it.
1. The focus- The auto-focus in the camera wanted to keep up focus on the image in the water and not the water itself. I found that by switching to a manual focus or aiming slightly above my “target” on auto-focus gave me the best results.
2. Depth of Field -You want a deep depth of field. Otherwise your colors will become blurred and out of focus in the water. You also will not see the top of the water in a continuous way. Now, this might be your preference and I did take shots that had this quality, however, I liked the ability to tell that water was the subject of the pictures. It’s really a personal preference.
3. Exposure- I used long exposures starting at 1/2 to 3″ . I had issues with the wind. Sometimes the wind would pick up causing waves in the pond. The longer the exposure, the more “out of focus” the picture became. I also tried ISO’s from 200-800. One thing was very clear. Using a tripod is not an option. I also found that using the timer on the camera allowed me to take the shot without touching the camera. It was cool in the sense that with the ever-changing environment, I sometimes did not know if I had the setting right or not because I was not looking through the eyepiece at the time of the shot.
Overall, it was an exciting shoot. I got to work with settings on my camera that I do not normally get to play with. The thing to remember with night shots is that it may take some experimentation to find the right settings for your camera. But then again, that is the fun part of working a shoot. When was the last time you got to play and take pictures in a creative and fun way? Why not try your own night shoot?
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