I really like taking photos in the night because it’s such a surreal and out of this world experience. I have posted before about the thrills of night photography here.
The photo above is made using a really long shutter speed – 60 minutes, so that the stars become star trails. This is due to the movement of the earth and the fact that the Northern Star (Polaris) is realtively still, so the whole night landscape is eerie, strange and beautiful. I’ve added a light source and a silhouette that could be the one of an alien so everything has the grandeur of the cosmos.
I love the peace and quiet of the night. While I’m out photographing at night it’s almost like a form of meditation. This has to do with the fact that night photography often requires really long exposure times, but I think it also has something to do with the fact that one can see our place between the stars and realize that we are part of a much bigger picture. This feeling is the most intense at night while gazing at the stars.
The photo above was taken on such a night of wandering on meadows and watching the stars and it has received a lot of attention trough the years, turning eyes and also selling a few prints. I think the reason for this is that it has a great subject – a strange looking tree in the foreground that almost seems to literally reach for the stars given it’s shape, but also because it captures another moment: the red moon rising. A lot of people asked if it is the sun or the moon that is visible. It’s actually the moon rising at midnight. If it were the sun, the whole scene would be too bright and the stars above would not be visible. I usually like horizontal prints, but this photo looks great as a print because the whole scene unfolds vertically: the darker area with the bright stars at the top of the photo, the middle blue part that is lighter and has fewer stars, and the bottom red part that has just a few visible stars. The exposure time was pretty short for a night photo – 46 seconds, so the stars won’t appear as light trails – I think I’ll make a post about star trails in the future as it is really interesting waiting for hours to see the final result. The night holds many mysteries. And even though night photography is difficult and takes time and patience – it is really worth it. I especially like the fact that I bring to light scenes that would otherwise remain hidden in the dark and would never be seen.