Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Under the stars

Under the stars

Self portrait under a starry sky.

My wife and I visited my daughter, who lives in a rural part of Tennessee. Far from city lights that pollute the night sky. Clear nights provide a spectacular star show that I love to capture on camera. This photograph was made in one exposure, with no Photoshop other than to adjust levels a tad.

It took an hour or so to set up and choreograph this shot. I set up the camera on a tripod and framed the shot with an ultra wide angle lens while it was still light. Placed a flash on a stand just outside the frame to the left. Identified the spot in which I needed to stand.

When it was sufficiently dark (nearly pitch black), I set the camera to a 30 second exposure. The flash (fired by a wireless trigger on camera) was set to go off at the end of the exposure. That gave me 30 seconds from the time I hit the shutter to use a handheld flash unit to light the trees (five pops of the flash), find my mark, place the handheld flash unit behind me and hit a pose before the final flash went off. The advance planning paid off. It only took three or four tries to get a frame that I liked.

Ah, the things I do for my art.

Extra points if you can find the Big Dipper. The big dip is in the orange shirt.

Photograph © 2010 James Jordan.


Hillary said...

ok, THAT is cool! I'm jealous!

I did some night photography on a road trip this past week, but only basic stuff, cause I don't have handheld flashes and stands and such. One day...

GREAT shot! :)

Suz. said...

Your photos are AMAZING!! Love this one.

Tatiana Sapateiro said...


Paula said...

You have so much fun with your photography that's what makes it such a gas to visit you.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to disturb; but where are you?
No photos for several weeks. Beginning to worry that something has happened to you.


Paula said...

You always have a lot of fun and it shows. I think the big dipper is to the left?