This Winter has really been horrible for seeing the stars at night. When you get a warm Winter here in Canada, it generally means cloudy. For like 3 months. Pretty depressing. But every once in a awhile I will throw on the snow pants and head out into the frozen tundra. Okay so it’s not that bad. But it’s still cold!
I was really trying to get a nice shot the Northern lights. Which can be see almost every night out here, when weather is working with me. But I need to test my camera with night shots more anyway. So the Milky Way is just fine too.
The trick with night shots, especially when you have little to no light whatsoever, is to up your ISO enough that you can deal with the noise. This has become a problem for me using a Sony camera. I’m sure the cameras they tout as super low light, are just that, but not mine. I struggle with what’s called chroma noise. Which are little, very bright, pixels that clearly did not get the memo about what we were all doing. They pick a random colour like purple, or red, and have to be taken out one by one. There are many other ways to get rid of standard noise I am aware. But there is always a trade off when it comes to noise reduction. Or else we would just be cranking the ISO all the time right!
Photographing sunsets, or sunrises are always a challenge. Even if you know what your doing (or me ;)). You can plan for what angle you want to shoot at, a scene you want to shoot, or during particular weather that you know works well. But the sun is so freaking bright! Depending on the conditions of your lens you can get flare in places you didn’t expect, and may not see through the viewfinder at first glance. Exposing for such things can take time as well that you might not have accounted for. But the results can be pretty stellar.
All conditions aside I knew while I was on vacation with fam on the East coast of Mexico, that I would be taking a pic of either the beginning of the day, or the end. And since I was on the East side, it would be the beginning…
So I went down super early in the morning and set up along the string of hotels that line the beach area. Looked around for something that might make a good comp without getting beach chairs and jet skies in the shot. Instead I opted to omitted everything but what I was focused on getting in my photo. Sometimes filler, is just that. Why overcomplicate things if you don’t need to.
One thing I have learned the hard way in a lot of my early photos, is to not clutter up a scene you intended to take. If this scene would benefit from having someone lounging in a beach chair, than great. But I didn’t feel like that was why I was there that morning.