Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Barn and star tracks

I learned a couple of things from my moonlight photo excursion a couple of nights ago. 1) I can capture star tracks from within the confines of the Chicago suburbs - I didn't think it was possible, given the amount of light thrown up by miles and miles of suburbia. 2) I can capture star tracks in the light of a full moon (or nearly full). 3) Old barns look really nice in moonlight.

There are still some barns within a five-mile radius of my home and I headed out under the nearly-full moon to see what I could get. What I got was several shots that I'm pretty well pleased with. Calculating the exposure times was pretty much a shot in the dark (yes, pun intended) and I can see where some fine-tuning is needed, but I gained some valuable experience I can put to use the next time I head out, which I plan to do in another week or so, when the moon is a little less intense and I can hopefully catch some longer star tracks.

The foreground light and the slight greenish tint on the front of the barn came from a vapor light to the right of the barn. I used a flashlight to brighten up the cupolas on the roof of the barn. The pinkish glow in the distance is from the lights of an interchange on Interstate 90. The rest is lunar light.

Taken with 35mm lens, no filters. 300 seconds at f16, ISO 400 film, some dodging and burning in post-processing. Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2006 James Jordan.

17 comments:

Chana said...

that is alot of barns to explore and enjoy in such proximity. they are beautiful and your pic is lovely. thank you for sending me here dr. John.

Will Williams said...

Glad to see I wasn't the only person with the same idea the other night, great shot and site, I'll add this to my blog roll :)

Marion said...

I didn't know they were called star tracks!

Any picture of a barn brings back memories of my youth, when sleeping overnight in the hay loft was such an enjoyable time!

ArtsyTartsyViray said...

Wow.. that is a wonderful picture.. very vibrant..

Dr. John has made you part of the marathon.. enjoy the massive amounts of comments.. they are always fun to read!

Jan said...

I love old barns. Thanks Dr. John for sending me here, and for sending folks to my blog.

andrena said...

I have a digital camera, and dont even know why I bought the durn thing. Don't know what to do with it. Just left Dr. John's and coming through to sit a spell. Come on by my spot, turn on the CD player..I should be back momentarily!

James said...

To all of you coming here via Dr. John, I'm honored to be designated as a stop in the blog marathon. I'd not heard of it before today. Great idea.

Marion, glad I was able to trigger some good memories. I hope to be able to get some good star track shots on the cold, clear winter nights that will be coming.

Sunflower Optimism said...

Wow, I love your compositions James - the pier, especially with moon, is magnificent!

The St. Louis arch made me smile - my daughter is going to college there.

Dr. John is an awesome man who spends a lot of time finding wonderful blogs, such as yours and letting us know about them. I would never have the time to blogsurf - but he always finds the creme de la creme!

bazza27 said...

Cracking photo, but the one underneath is even better. Dr John sent me.

Tina Dray said...

I agree with Bazza, what lovely photos, Dr John sent me too.

Betty said...

I don't know anything about taking photos but was surprised to learn of the barns in the Chicago area. Very nice photo. Came from Dr John's Marathon.

James said...

The metroplex around Chicago grew rapidly, swallowing up farmland as it spread outward from the city, so there are many pockets of areas that still have some open space and old barns on them. Just a half mile south and east of this barn is a city of 100,000 people. One mile to the north are several towns with a combined total of 100,000. This place is a semi-rural oasis that I return to frequently for photos. And I'll be posting several more in the moonlight series in the days to come. You're all welcome back!

Margaret said...

That is an amazing feat to photo! A barn in the moonlight. That came out wonderful!

-Margie
(Stopping by via Dr. John's mini-marathon today.)

Cuppojoe said...

I'd love to do more night photography, but I seem to be having a hard time with the manual focusing of my DSLR (I just can't "see" when it's in focus!). After seeing this, though, I'm going to give it another shot!

Dr. John sent me by for some photo tips... Thanks!

Cindy said...

I love finding old barns to photograph. This one of yours is very nice. I just hope the white rabbit isnt' hiding in the white barn. Of course, by now, he's probably run back to Dr. John's Pigeon Falls.

Sue said...

Interesting photo. Love your site but I can't stay long. As usual I'm the last one in the race. I con't keep up with Dr. John's group.

James said...

will, I appreciate the link. You've got a great photo site yourself. I'm linking to you also.