Over Memorial Day weekend my husband and I took a quick trip to Western North Carolina to do some camping and visit the Bascom for a landscape and nature photography exhibit. The photography exhibit featured renowned photographers like Ansel Adams, Brett Weston, Sally Mann, Robert Parkeharrison (one of my absolute all time favs) and so many others. It was a wonderful exhibit and the Bascom is nestled in the quaint city of Highlands, NC. After the viewing the exhibit we went into downtown Highlands to enjoy some local fare. We ate at Mountain Fresh for lunch, which was yummy and even though we were super full, we had to have some ice cream after all the camping food, so we checked out Sweetreats.
We camped for two nights at the Standing Indian Campground in the Nanthala National Forest. Other than seeing the exhibit one of my goals was to start my experiences with Night Photography and Long Exposures. At Francis Marion I will be able to do summer research (granted I receive the stipend) so this summer I am researching Night Photography. I just finished a book on the topic by Lance Keimig called “Night Photography: Finding Your Way in the Dark.” I have never really considered myself to be a traditional landscape photographer, but have always admired them. Mostly, I admire their ability to capture a beautiful image in camera with little post-processing. That seems to be what traditional landscape photographers are all about…waiting for the right light, a beautiful exposure and a full and deep composition. I have noticed that in many landscape photographs that I admire there is something that grabs the viewers eye in the foreground, middle ground and background and it is that visual dance between the three that makes a compelling composition. I thought wedding photography is difficult, but landscape photography can prove just as difficult. One may not think it, but it is so challenging not to make a completely boring image of a natural space.
In July I will be attending a workshop at Bodie Ghost Town (in California) taught by Lance Keimig and Scott Martin. I am super excited about it. I have learned so much already from Keimig’s book and can’t wait to see what I will learn at the workshop. Much of what I do naturally and love is the process, often post-processing. I pull myself in so many different directions with processes that I felt this summer I needed to devote time to what happens in the exposure process.
So, I started my night photography journey with something basic and without a lot of accessories. So, I didn’t use a neutral density or a remote. I waited until the sun dropped a bit before I started shooting. Here are a few of my results.
Shannon (my husband) helped me with this one. We were in deep shade and so was the large rock. He used his head lamp and light the rock for the duration of the exposure making it come forward and in contrast to the background.This one wasn’t a long exposure, but was the result of combining several exposure to get sky detail and detail on some of the tree trunks.