I learned a few things last night in the dark at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. First, the light pollution even that far from Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley is still pretty bad. The yellow light above is not the sun. My son, Funny Man, who came with me was saddened by it. He openly reflected on the stars at Leavitt Meadows. He knows what is possible. And I’ve seen the stars in Iceland, so I know what is possible as well. I think a trip to Great Basin National Park, “one of the last true dark skies in America,” is in order.
Second, there is a completely different routine and preparation for shooting at night. It’s not just the camera equipment and settings that are important. On a cold night like last night, gloves would also have made it so much easier to adjust the manual focus. It’s hard to nail focus when your hands are shaking. You’d think I would have learned that lesson on a frigid night in Chicago. I didn’t.
Third, I am continually surprised by what my kids find interesting. Funny man was completely engaged with the process of getting these shots. I think he enjoyed the fact that it wasn’t a “point and click” process. He seemed genuinely interested in the science of light and participating in my experiments, most of which failed. His curiosity and joy matched mine. That made my night.
Despite the less than “stellar” results above, I see really amazing night shots in my future. 🙂
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