In 2009, just about the the time when digital SLRs were turning the corner on film, I wondered... how to do star trails with a digital camera. I googled the subject and the only instructions I found were from Moose Peterson, which turned out to be inaccurate and unclear, but it was a start. Anyway, I decided to figure it out for myself, which I did, and the result about a year later was publishing the first how-to white paper you could find on the internet. And, then the dark skies digital work boom.
Digital camera technolgy has come a long way... with simple equipment, we can capture the night sky in etherical ways our eyes just can't. Shooting the Milky Way has been of paticular intrest recently and our cameras and post processing opportunities have made capturing amazing skies pretty easy... most of the art comes in to play with the photographers ability to capture an allring foreground, often including techniques in light painting or use of the moon. This is the stuff that I love and really enjoy sharing.
Light painting is where the true art comes in to play. It is not as easy as it looks and it takes a certain level of patience and perseverance to get the intended look. Light painting is essential to moonless nights in order to provide an element of foreground aside the no-light painting option, the silhouette. Light painting can make or break the professional touch to our night photographs.
One cannot claim to be a night photographer and not take landscape images at night. Images of the night skies are of course landscapes, but creative landscapes made at night that don't focus on stars and trails is a world to itself. There are so many wonderful opportunities, everywhere, and the options are limitless. I love shooting at night.. when the world slows down, there are less people out, and our world takes on a nocturnal appeal.
The traditional landscape, well done, is a quintessential part to any portfolio. There are probably millions of great landscape images out there, but here are a few of what I think are unique and, in some cases, maybe never seen again in my lifetime because I was there, then, when that happened.
I love to shoot the races. Something about 10,000 horsepower fire breathing dragons lunging down the track at mind blowing speeds and volume. So awesome, so extreme, and by no means an easy thing to photograph. At 300 mph, stopping or panning action is a real challenge. Knowing where to be and tracking these super fast beasts takes talent and practice. But man, it is so cool when you grab a sweet capture! Oh, and NHRA in Pomona usually has some great food and beer to accompany your day!