One of the best memories I have of the last year of learning about taking pictures (note: I dislike the use of the word “photographer/photography” so I am consciously opting for simpler language here) was the first trip I took to Yosemite last summer and going up to Tunnel View for a lesson in night shooting. It was like someone taught me a new magic trick and I loved it.
On this last trip, we chose to hit the meadow near the hotel and because we weren’t driving (far) we also brought a bottle of rum to keep us warm as it was roughly 25 degrees outside.
The image above is Yosemite Falls at night. It had some pretty epic moonshadow on it, so it’s cropped a bit. I would also like to state that that’s maybe the first time I’ve ever had an opportunity to use the word “moonshadow” without referring to the bar in Malibu.
This shot is looking North-ish from the falls to the left. The glow from the trees are the one or two cars that drove through the shot. If you look closely, you can see how the stars are all different colors. Neat.
The shot below was a bit longer of an exposure at the dark part of the sky to the south of the meadow – way more stars, but the exposure was a little longer than it needed to be so there’s a little drag on the stars. Good colors though – you can see some blue and pink ones.
I also took a lot of longer-exposure shots to try to get star trails but I’m so very impatient that I didn’t wait long enough to get anything longer than the below. Again you can see some epic colors in the trails though. NEAT.
We played around with Michele’s camera (d800) and she really nailed some of the shots she took with her fisheye lens. I’ll try to get her to send them to me so I can do a post about them (even though they aren’t mine, I think I’d like to blog about the differences in composition and exposure. She’s much better than I am.)
H ere’s another shot of Half Dome with the cars out of frame:
I also learned that if you focus on the North Star then all the other stars swirl around that one. I did not know that but it makes sense. Thank you to the guy who walked up to us to ask how the shots were going for explaining that to me. He had some great pics on his iPhone he showed me of his last night shoot – great swirls. I will try that on my next night shoot. Unfortunately where we were wouldn’t have made a very good frame for the North Star, which was oddly to the east. Or maybe I just don’t understand direction.
Here are the rest of the shots: