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12-05-2009, 06:03 PM   #1
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Nighttime exposures- Pentax 67

Greetings all,

Last weekend I spent a Moonlit night on the ledges of pink granite at Schoodic Peninsula, Acadia National Park. It is a 30 minute drive for me from my home and offers a great opportunity to gather some nice shots. It was a nice change from the usual wide-field deep sky work I'm used to doing.

All exposures were with the SMC 55mm lens, the latest edition. It served me well.

I hope you enjoy them.

Schoodic Peninsula at Night - a set on Flickr

Jim

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12-06-2009, 10:37 AM   #2
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Great series. Any color shift problems when doing these? Did I miss what film you're using in your tags on Flickr?
12-06-2009, 02:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuco Quote
Great series. Any color shift problems when doing these? Did I miss what film you're using in your tags on Flickr?


Tuco, I've updated the image information to reflect photo data. I used Kodak E200. This film has the best reciprocity characteristics and color stability of any other film I have tested. Exposures as long as 30 minutes with very little , if any color shift. These characteristics make it the finest nighttime and astrophotography film as well. Too bad it has been discontinued in 120 and it will soon be gone in 135.

Looking at the original transparencies, there is only a slight magenta cast, but this is normal, even for daytime work. It is easy to remove in post processing. That being said, I have done very little to these frames, only levels and curves and a slight crop on two of them to straighten out the horizon. I used an Epson 4490 to scan them. Overall, I'm very happy with the results.
12-06-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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Beautifully done long exposures.
The detail is just exquisite in these images.
Great film results.

12-06-2009, 04:01 PM   #5
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Spectacular images! What a great utilization of moonlight!
12-07-2009, 02:38 AM   #6
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I don't often comment on pictures ("Oh yes, your dog/cat is nice and beautiful, can we see real photography now ?")

But this serie is really nice indeed, I wonder how this would render on large prints.

I bought a 6x7 setup for this very purpose of night shooting, hopefully I will receive the package this week. Getting and processing 120 and 220 film by professionals is not a problem is Paris, so I couldn't pass this bargain (in ratio quality of image / price)

Thanks fo the tip about the film to choose.

Regards,
Guillaume
12-07-2009, 10:30 AM   #7
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Cold hearted orb that rules the night, removing color from our sight, red is gray and yellow white...

Very impressive...especially the color...closest match to moonlit vision I've ever seen. Great job!
12-07-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Boggs Quote
Cold hearted orb that rules the night, removing color from our sight, red is gray and yellow white...

Very impressive...especially the color...closest match to moonlit vision I've ever seen. Great job!
....But we decide which is right
And which is an illusion.

I knew there was some good frames that night as long as I got the exposure right.

ghelary, these frames will withstand tremendous enlargement, especially if they were scanned with something better than my Epson.

Thank you all.

12-07-2009, 11:11 AM   #9
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That's far out, they look like day shots. I like the fourth one the best. I like the diagonal line across the center that is almost right angle in relation to the motion of the stars.
12-07-2009, 11:15 AM   #10
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I hear violins...
12-07-2009, 11:19 AM   #11
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@ nightfly : This is precisely the reason why I decided to buy a Pentax 6x7.

I managed to get with my K20D some very nice long exposure shots printed on 40x60 (cm) with fine grain and good sharpness. But I feel that to get bigger and longer exposures (like the 30 min you did) my best way would be to go the medium format way.

Once more, I have the luck to live in a city where it is easy to get your film processed by competent professionals and there are still some dark room enlargers (including using Dye transfer and other exotic technics).

Your very nice serie makes me the more willing to get and try out my new toy.

Best regards,
12-13-2009, 03:18 AM   #12
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The biggest struggle for me in night photography is determining the proper exposure. Could you share your tips?

Stunning work!

Mark
12-13-2009, 06:26 AM - 1 Like   #13
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Hi Mark,

In film photography, the variability of film performance creates difficulties in exposure. This is primarily due to reciprocity failure, film’s ability to maintain its rated ISO over many seconds or even minutes. I was using Kodak E200, a film known for its good reciprocity characteristics and color stability. I have tested exposures with this film under moonlight before and came up with a mental chart of what would be proper exposure for this film under the full Moon. Although I did not use it for this picture set, I have bumped into a handy calculator that may prove useful.

mkaz.com: Calculating Exposures for Moonlight Photography


An outline for exposure is also discussed here:

mkaz.com photography Exposures for Moonlight Photography


I have devised a chart (attached) to outline exposures for Provia 100F and Kodak E200. Provia is also known for its good reciprocity as well although I have not determined if the chart below is accurate for this film. Again, this is a guide. Bracket your exposures.

When I was exposing images at Schoodic Point I started the exposures and was looking at the scene to determine if 5, 10, 20 minutes (full stops) was going to be proper. I was using apertures of f/8 and f/11 primarily. Looking at the rolling waves in moonlight was a concern because they were very bright when cresting over the rocks and ledges. Of course, the opposite was true for the rocks, which were very dark, almost black in the moonlight. I felt it was better to overexpose the waves (which were only bright in cycles of the waves) and try to reveal the detail on the rocks. It worked.

Keep in mind that bracketing a 10 minute exposure would be something like this if exposing half stops (5, 7.5, 10, 15, 20 minutes) There is some slop in the film as well and overexposure may be preferable in dark scenes. Getting shadow detail can be difficult.

Finally, I recommend running a roll of film through your camera and get some experience with this type of work. I bet if you use the above information as a guide you will walk away with some keepers. It's lonely out there at night and if your in an environment similar to where I shot these frames, be careful, it's easy to misstep and hurt yourself.

Good luck and post your results. Nighttime was ment for photography just as much as daytime, its only harder.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Exposures under the Moon.doc (20.0 KB, 254 views)
12-13-2009, 09:20 AM   #14
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Thank you so much!
12-19-2009, 08:01 AM   #15
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Hey, thanks for that post, nightfly, I had no idea film behaved like this, and I'm about to get a tripod for night exposures. I already have a Gossen Luna-Pro F.

Now that I think about it, I have no idea how I would have a camera make an hour long exposure without sitting next to it squeezing a button!
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