Stars of Glen Haven, Michigan

I thought I’d share a few photographs I took of the night sky in and around Glen Haven MichiganSleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. This was my first attempt at this kind of photography, so I took a few notes as well.

stars_of_glen_haven_tug_boat_bw

Tug boat – Cannery Boathouse Museum, Glen Haven, MI

1. Don’t rock the tug boat (use a tripod and shutter-release cable to prevent camera-shake). Even with a high ISO setting (3200 +/-) and a wide-open lens capturing stars requires slow shutter-speeds (30 seconds +/-). Earth’s rotation will cause motion-blur / star-trails in exposures of much longer than 30 seconds.

Mast – US Life Saving Station, Glen Haven, MI

2. The moon can be surprisingly bright (shoot during a New Moon or wait for the moon to set for maximum star-capturing power). The illumination on this mast comes entirely from the moon, and while it can be helpful at times, if the moon is too high and/or full it can significantly reduce the number of stars you (and your camera) will see.

US Life Saving Station, Glen Haven, MI

3. Got a light? Bring that, too. I know, I know… I just mentioned how bright the moon is. Still, it’s very easy for a blogger (and her/his gear) to go bump in the night. Also, in extreme low-light situations you’ll often have to rely manual focusing – shining some light on nearby objects can be a big help with that.

Sleeping Bear Inn, Glen Haven, MI

4. Charge your battery (and your camera battery, too). Pre-plan (scout locations, look-up moon phases, weather reports, etc.) and pack-up early. Then get some rest. If you are like me, you will easily get carried away and the sun will be up in no time.

Cannery Boathouse Museum, Glen Haven, MI

5. Shoot the lights out (take lots-o-photographs). I find it never hurts to hedge my bet. It’s often easier to delete a few ‘bad’ photos than it is to get back on location and shoot more ‘good ones’.

Trees, Glen Haven, MI

6. Thank your lovely wifey. It takes great patience to help scout locations, transport gear and carefully aim flashlights at 3 o’clock in the morning, etc. It will all be greatly appreciated.

About these images: digital photographs (Canon 600D) lightly modified in Adobe Photoshop

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Evening Blacktop

It’s been a while since my last Holga post, so I decided to rock another.

AND, dear readers, it’s time for an experiment… let’s see what happens to my stats if when I throw a random ‘twilight’ tag into this post. I mean, technically, it was ‘twilighty’ when I took this photo; I just didn’t happen to be attacked by any tween-aged vampires. I don’t think. Although… I’m fairly certain I used to have a reflection…

About this image: 35mm Holga lightly manipulated

Rotation

It’s toy camera time! This was shot with my 35mm Holga (at Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park). Sometimes it’s fun to go low-tech, and not worry about things like metering, f-stops, or… you know… looking in the same general direction your camera is pointed.

This was a long enough exposure that you can see the earth’s rotation in the moon and stars – which I thought was kinda’ neat. Of course, I was all hoped up on hot dogs and S’mores  at the time, so take that for what it’s worth, I guess.

About This Image: 35mm Holga lightly manipulated