Castlerigg at night


andymat

Link Posted 22/09/2014 - 23:17
Well as it seems like there are quite a few Lake District photos at the moment and since we were there (near Keswick) the week before last, I thought I'd ask for comments and suggestions on my attempts at night photography.

On the 7th of September we had been on a long walk across the Northern fells north of Skiddaw and Blencathra and I was pretty tired but in the evening the moon came out - pretty nearly a full moon - and I couldn't bear to miss the opportunity to play with my camera. So I thought I'd walk the 1.5 miles to the stone circle at Castlerigg.

So after a lot of messing around...
K-5II, DA 12-24 @18mm, f/8, 52 sec, 800 ISO




I struggled with the long exposure as it took as long again to process/save the image as it did to take it. And with long exposure it meant that the stars made lines which is not what I ideally wanted. Which is why I used 800 ISO. I didn't want to go any higher than that because of the noise produced.

Two days later was the 9th and the full moon proper and we again got a beautifully clear night. So off I trudged again on my sore legs to have another go. This time I tried to stick to ISO 200 to reduce the noise but the times were longer - over 3 mins. But here is the result that night...
K-5II, DA 12-24 @12mm, f/8, 136 sec, 200 ISO




I was a little taken aback when I realised that there was someone in a bivy bag 'camping' next to the stone circle. I only realised when I herd the rustling of the bag and checked my picture to see a black blob in the foreground in one of the pictures. I kept away from him after that.

So any suggestions on improvements would be welcome.
Andy
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davidstorm

Link Posted 22/09/2014 - 23:43
I like both of these and I also like your dedication in getting them! The colours, light and sky are excellent.

My only observation is that you could have got closer to the stones and made them into a really strong foreground feature, maybe shooting from a very low angle. I know this may have meant not getting the whole circle in the shot, but I think it would have made for a more powerful and unusual composition.

Regards
David
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McGregNi

Link Posted 22/09/2014 - 23:53
The first is very atmospheric - I love how the clouds hug the mountain and seem to have a glow. Its probably better also for being darker, more night-like - the 2nd doesn't have the same feel, more like an underexposed day shot. Yes, they would be more effective with the stones larger in the foreground, I agree with David.

But great job in getting out and capturing these shots!
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1stEverPentax

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 00:00
Love both images Andy...great job and well worth the effort. You've captured 'The Plough' in the sky so maybe you should caption them 'Castlerigg Under Plough'!

Karlo

08tiger

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 03:21
They have a soft dreamy look about them, very nice.
C&C welcome.
Don.

andymat

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 08:09
Many thanks for all your comments.

Quote:
My only observation is that you could have got closer to the stones and made them into a really strong foreground feature, maybe shooting from a very low angle. I know this may have meant not getting the whole circle in the shot, but I think it would have made for a more powerful and unusual composition.

Yes good suggestion. Perhaps I need to have been more organised and planned the shots in the daylight.

Quote:
the 2nd doesn't have the same feel, more like an underexposed day shot

Yes Nigel, it is very easy to get what looks like a day shot simply by raising the exposure in Light Room which is why I can only really present shots with stars in them. It is sort of telling the story.

The picture - minimal processing - with the camper(s). Looking at it now I'm wondering if it was 2 although I didn't hear any talking. He/she/they must have seen me. It was the 13% larger full moon with a clear sky!




Andy
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vic cross

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 08:46
In the 1st. shot there are more stars than just the Plough. equal brightness. In the 2nd. shot the other stars are very weak and the Plough is strong. Did you fade out the other stars or was it just lucky??
CHEERS Vic.
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andymat

Link Posted 23/09/2014 - 09:03
Vic, I suppose it must have been lucky if you think it has turned out well. I have not done any special processing on the sky area on either picture to bring out particular stars. Perhaps they are a bit brighter anyway and the extra long exposure - over 3 mins - has multiplied the effect?


On a later picture on the second night, the cloud is extending to cover up the lower stars in the plough so I am happy that I got one with the full set!
Andy
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