Around midnight on a fairly chilly Saturday evening, I grabbed my gear and headed down to the small beach that is part of the Bellmere Winds Cottage Resort. It was cool and clear that night, not a cloud in the sky, and I wanted to try to capture some night sky shots. There are not a lot of camera angle options on the beach, that don't include some form of artificial light, but I think I found a couple views worth showing.
 
Exposures varied from 10 - 25 seconds, and ISO varied from 1600 - 3200. The sweet spot for me with my 14mm Rokinon lens, was between 10 and 20 seconds, but I was getting more useful exposures around the 15 second mark in terms of recorded detail without blurring of the stars. Too bad, as I had hoped to go at least to 20 seconds. 
 
I think I really need to "let go" of the concern over using high(er) ISO settings. I'm going to get grain/noise either way; might as well err on the side of more detail.
This was the first attempt on this image. Note the obvious grain; I had neglected to apply noise reduction before exporting the file.
This is the final (for now) rendition of Midnight on Rice Lake. Noise reduction has been applied, and I increased the saturation and reduced exposure in the Linear Gradient filter running from the upper right to the treeline. I also used new brush capabilties in Lightroom to "erase" those Linear Gradient effects in the sand, lake and the stones on the right.
 
Wondering what the original capture looked like? Check it out, below.
Original capture essentially unaltered. Amazing how much detail can be pulled out of a RAW image.
Yes... that IS my tripod. But think of it more as an other-wordly visitor, surveying our planet under cover of darkness. Yeah, that's it. The rocks are being lit by a street light a few hundred yards away, giving them a more orange cast.
I wanted the chairs in the shot, but I'm not happy with the lighting on them at the moment. I will keep experimenting with the composition on other visits.
I enjoyed this shoot, and all the magic that happened after the shutter clicked. I'm constantly amazed at how much detail I can pull from RAW images. Next time, I think I will try some shots from the golf course. There will be less light pollution there, but also less lake.

You may also like

Back to Top