I've always wanted to get a shot of a seashell on the beach at night, and I decided to try it! I cleared off a section of the beach and positioned a seashell there, and then I set down a towel to put my camera. I first took one picture of the seashell with the exposure pushed way up, and then I started shooting the star trails. I then combined the two exposures in Photoshop afterwards!
I decided to try something new by using a glass ball in my sunset photo! I positioned it so the sun was in the glass ball, and also on the side of it. Later, I photoshopped out my hand holding it up, and I flipped the image upside down so the sunset in the glass ball would be the right way.
I got some amazing photos in Vail, Colorado! We were there for my aunt's wedding, and we stayed there some extra days to do some fun things around the area. We hiked on the mountain, biked, and went to an amusement park on the top of Vail Mountain and an amusement park in Glenwood Springs. I got some star and mountain photos, and I also got some cool pictures on the plane of the sunrise!
On the last night we were there, I hiked a little ways up the mountain in the middle of the night and set up my camera on a tripod with a remote shutter release. I set it to take continuous 30 second exposures for two hours of the stars. Two hours later, I went out and retrieved my camera. I combined all the photos together to form the beautiful star trails, and I also made a time-lapse of the stars, which you can view below.
I absolutely love getting photos of the night sky, because it is such a challenge to it! Star trail photography is so interesting because it's something that you can't see with your eyes. Read more to learn how I make them!
First, I go outside at around midnight when there's a new moon or it's close to a new moon and no clouds. I set up my camera (Canon 5d Mark iii) on a tripod and usually try to point it towards the north star, because that's where all the stars "rotate" around. If you point it east or west, the star trails will be more of lines, not circles, due to the earth's rotation. I use a Canon 24-105mm f/4 lens for these images, because I need a wide field of view. I usually use the settings of iso 1000 and my aperture is ALWAYS set to f/4. I then use a Vello Shutterboss II, which is a remote shutter release that lets me set it to take certain number of pictures automatically. I put my camera on Bulb mode and set it to RAW, and then plug in the remote shutter release and set it to take 200 30 second exposures. Once it starts, I go inside and do something to pass the time. Once the two hours is up, I go out and retrieve my camera.
Next I transfer all my images to my MacBook through Lightroom CC. I do lens correction to all of them, change the white balance, sharpen and noise reduction it, and then change some of the other settings to make sure it looks nice. I then sync those edits to every one of the pictures.
Next, I export all of them to a folder on my desktop, and then I import all of them into Photoshop CC as layers. Since I took 200 photos of the sky, and the earth rotates, the stars seem like they rotate around the earth. In Photoshop, you can layer all of these images on top of each other so you see the star trails. I then select all the photos and then change the blending mode to "Lighten". This causes the brightest parts in each image (the stars) to layer on top of each other. This makes the beautiful star trails! I then removed with the clone stamp tool all of the orange flags in the foreground, and then lighted the foreground a little more. I export it back to my desktop, and then import it back into Lightroom! Thanks for reading!
We had such a fun Fourth of July, and I also snapped a lot of photos of the lake! One of the nights there was a big storm, and I walked out to the dock late at night to capture photos of the storm! I also made a time-lapse video of the storm by setting my camera up with a shutter release to take a photo every 30 seconds for an hour! You can view the time-lapse down below. :-)
On the Fourth of July, at about midnight, I set my camera up on the dock to try to take star trail photos! I had never tried star trails before, so I was worried on how it would turn out. I plugged in the remote shutter release and set it to take continuous 30 seconds exposures for about 2 hours. Once that was set up, I went back inside and waited for two hours. Once it had finished, I put them in my computer and combined them all together to form a beautiful star trails image!! The reason why star trails are formed is because the earth rotates, and this rotation causes the stars to look like they're moving. I really loved the finished product!
We were coming home from Fargo one night, and it looked like it was going to be a beautiful sunset! Once I got home I walked out into the field behind our house and took these pictures! For each picture, I took two exposures- one where the sky was correctly exposed for and one where the ground was correctly exposed. I then combined them in photoshop to get these images! The third image was taken 30 minutes after sunset, which is why the colors are more blue and dark.
I was up late one night when there was a big storm coming, and it was about 12:30 a.m. when I ran outside to the field behind our farm with a tripod and camera. I used a long exposure to capture all of the lightning in the storm, and the long exposure also let in a lot of light to make the clouds brighter. When I was out there, I couldn't see any of the clouds, but when I took the picture, all of the light from the lightning lit up the whole sky and showed all of the lightning strikes! I used my phone flashlight to light up the soybeans so they wouldn't look black. I got back inside quickly before the storm hit!
We woke up early at 5:00 a.m. to head to Valley Fair, and the sunrise that morning was breathtaking! I ran out past the road into the field to capture some shots of the sunrise before the storm hit that was heading towards us. I started to feel raindrops, but I made it back to the house without getting my camera too wet. Here's the final edited version. The storm produced an awesome rainbow though!!
The sunset last night was so beautiful, and in my opinion was one of the best of the year so far. There was rain at first, but then it cleared and the sky lit up with all sorts of colors! Even after the sunset, the colors were still there and the sky got more pink. Enjoy!
Here are some of the photos I took of the regional track meet in Kindred. To view all of them, click HERE. You can download the photos or order prints.
A couple weeks ago we were in New York City, and I got a great variety of photos! A lot of them were taken at night from the top of the Empire State Building where the sunset that night was beautiful! Others were taken at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and I also got some of Central Park. The trees were just starting to bloom in Central Park, which made for some pretty photos of the trees! On the last day we were there we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, and when the sun went down I took some panoramas of the skyline! To view all of them click HERE.