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Night photography is easily one of our favorite types of photography. Matt and I have spend hundreds of hours in the field doing our own astro photography over the years. Often, exposures are several minutes long to capture the movement of the night sky and I wait for each exposure in anticipation of what magical view has been captured. What I really love is the result you see on your viewfinder is something you just can't see with your eyes...it's as if you are capturing time itself during these long exposures.
Given our passion for astro/night photography it's no surprise that we were really looking forward to this workshop so we could share our passion with our students. On Saturday night at 730pm an enthusiastic group arrived at the Aperture Academy gallery to kick off what would prove to be a great night of shooting the stars!
After everyone introduced themselves we spent about 30 minutes talking about gear and understanding what everyone had brought for the workshop. We went through a short power point presentation on what to expect, looking at examples and talking about the variety of settings we would be using during this workshop.
We then loaded everyone up in "ApCab", our Mercedes passenger van, and within 20 minutes we arrived on location. With a quick hike to the top of a small hill we proceeded to setup and work with everyone to ensure good tripod stability as well as camera settings, focus and composition. As everyone got dialed in the sun had set and night fall was under way. It wasn't long before we were running 20-30 second exposures to capture pin-point stars. We used these images as test shots to correct white balance and focus and to warm us up for the long exposures we would run as the the night sky became much darker.
After some pin-point stars everyone was getting pretty comfortable with their camera and settings but it's always fun to see just how well people know their cameras when you start feeling around in the dark for the basic buttons such as playback! Always a fun time :) We proceed to do some light painting and writing to have some fun and share some of the many creative ideas that night photography can offer.
With the night sky now full of stars we began running 5, 10 and 20 minute exposures and captured some great star trails. The atmospheric conditions on this evening were fantastic so we were even able to capture the Milky Way!
Before we knew it, it was already 11:15pm! Were did the night go? Everyone gathered up for a quick group shot and then it time to pack up and head back to the Aperture Academy.
Thanks everyone for coming out with us on this night. Your energy was great and we had a lot of laughs along the way. Until next time!
Matt, Stephen and the rest of the team at Aperture Academy!
If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.