Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Fun Evening

Sunset over Westport Harbor
Last evening, my grandson and I first went to Westport to photograph the sunset over the harbor.  After checking where the sun was going to set, I chose the location at the boat ramp, next to the Back Eddy.  We set up our cameras and focused on the sunset.  Suddenly we noticed in front of us on the rocks, a Green Heron.  Since the green heron did not seem afraid of us, we went back to the car and got long lenses.  We photographed the green Heron, and various poses in between photographing the sunset.
Green Heron

Green Heron
I experimented with a long exposure, utilizing a 10 X the neutral density filter.  First, I set up my scene and checked my camera settings without the neutral density filter on the lens.  I consulted a chart did see what time I should use and reading the chart and told me four seconds.  I held the neutral density filter in front of the lens, since I did not have the right step-up ring for the lens to accommodate the filter.  I was able to smooth out the water almost completely, will have to experiment some more.

Once we finished with sunset, we traveled down to the Stone Barn Farm, hoping to photograph the Milky Way and fireflies.  As it got darker, the fireflies came out and I set up the camera to photograph the fireflies utilizing the same type settings as I would for star photography.  I then set the camera to take interval time pictures.  On the computer, I checked the pictures and selected those that had lights from the fireflies.  The one thing that I should have done first was either to take one picture and lightpaint the area or take a picture of that the area I was photographing so it would show more detail.  Since I did neither one of these I had adjust one of the sequence photos to lighten up the background.  The only problem was there was more noise that I liked and though I cleaned the noise up, it was not as good as I'd like it to be.  I then selected all the pictures that I wanted and open them in Photoshop as layers.  Then selected all layers that had the firefly lights in them, and chose lighten mode.  So here is the result.

As regards to the Milky Way, the first problem was there were numerous clouds in the sky, which tended to obscure the very white areas of the Milky Way.  Thankfully, the clouds cleared and I was able to get a decent picture of the Milky Way, which also included a small meteor in the left upper corner.
The Milky Way
I then took some pictures of the stars and clouds over the Fernandez house and also did a 20 minute star trail by the stone barn.
Stars and clouds over Fernandez house
Startrails by the stone barn

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