Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Wow! I've been waiting a while for another of those 'magical' nights to happen; well, tonight was it!! At first I thought that it was going to be too cloudy again, but there was an opening at the horizon beneath the major part of the clouds. And when the sun went low enough - Wowie!!! See the first two samples above ...
Before it gets too dark, I shoot a lot with the Fijufilm camera set in its automatic 'sunset' mode. This makes it real easy to run around taking lots of shots, trying different compositions, etc. And, I really like the way this camera, in this mode, enhances the colors and contrasts. So, I mostly get nice results. But, once it starts getting darker, I pay attention the the shutter speed that it is going to shoot at, and when it gets too slow, or I notice that the images are starting to get a little grainy, I switch mostly to the Canon. Of course, before I got the Canon, I would just put the Fujifilm into manual mode, and force it to take longer exposures. This eliminates the graininess, and yields much better results.
But, now, when it gets dark, I mostly switch to the Canon. Of course, I shoot with the Canon even before the sun goes down. But one cautionary note - when shooting with a DSLR, you are looking through the view finder directly at the sun!!! The entire lens of the camera is focusing the sun directly on your retina. Yikes! I do it anyway, but I do squint a lot. But, then again, I spend an awful lot of time staring at the sun anyway. With my other cameras, all you can look at is the LCD screen on the back of the camera, so even if you are taking pics of the sun, it won't be too bright for you to look at. But, when taking pictures of something very bright (like the sun), it gets very difficult to see any details on the LCD screen on the camera's back, because you are still basically looking directly at the sun. However, the Fijifilm camera has both, a large LCD screen on the camera's back, and a small LCD screen within the viewfinder. When using the viewfinder on this camera, instead of the big LCD screen, your are only looking an LCD screen, and not actually looking directly at the sun. I like that!!! Let's hear it for saving the eyes!!!
Anyway, tonight I shot 124 pictures. Mind you, not all of them are keepers, but most of the are. At least, I can't bring myself to delete very many of them. I consider a very mediocre night to be 6-10 shots, and a really good night be over 100.
I always take my cell phone with me when I go out into the desert -- my wife insists! Tonight, my grandson, Caleb, called when I was busy shooting. With the phone on speaker-phone, and it in my shirt pocket, I kept on a clicking whilst we was a talking.
I don't want to forget to tell you about this morning: There was also a nice sunrise. I had to leave home early this morning (6am) in order to get into town by 7am for our Church's monthly Men's breakfast. It was dark when I left home, and by the time I was nearly into Chandler, the sunrise was underway. So, I stopped a couple of times and took a few shots. The third picture above is one of my favorites from this morning - Houston, we have ignition!!