Night Photography Outing

On a warm summer evening the camera club came together to learn about photographing night scenes and light painting. First we went through basic settings for night photography and learning where the self-timer function was to reduce camera shake. The basic settings that we recommended for the night was a low ISO to reduce noise along with a slow shutter speed from a couple of seconds up to 30 second exposures for the light painting. Additionally, a small aperture opening from f/11 – 22 to reduce the amount of light and create an attractive star effect on the lights in the scene, rather than a over exposed blob of light.

After this quick rundown members jumped into there cars and we headed down to the local train station which offered a few interesting shooting points. Some members wandered around at ground level, while others took advantage of the views on top of the foot bridge. Many members had fun experimenting with the settings and waiting for the perfect moment to snap a train or truck passing.

Parkes train station at night – Tim Ruckley


After about an hour experimenting with night scenes we gave light writing a go. It was very trial and error with the different light sources and the rate of movement, but most people got a shot they liked. One of the problems we encountered was with focusing. One way to overcome this is to get the camera set up earlier while there is still enough light to work out the focus and then set the camera to manual focus to stop it from shifting. The second way was to shine a light on the person doing the light painting so the camera focuses on the right area, and then again switching to manual focus.

Changing the settings ready for light painting – Joanne Strom


And the results of the light painting (made with cheap finger lights from the Reject Shop) – Tim Ruckley


Please note that all images are Copyright and remain the property of the photographers.

We also attempted a bit of light writing, but this was less successful, with shutters closing before the last letters were done, because writing backwards takes a bit of practice, and then there is correct spelling to concentrate on too. Over all it was a fun night and a big thank you goes out to all the people who were able to come, I hope you all got something out of it.

If you would like to join us at the Parkes Camera Club the next meeting is on the 5th of March, held the the Parkes Neighbourhood Centre at 7:30pm. We invite all members to present up to 3 of their best shots for the night photography competition. Hope to see you there!


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