The Calm Before the Storm

© Elaine Hessler

The Calm Before the Storm

Uploaded: September 08, 2013


ISO 100, 14mm, f/8, 8.7 sec.

Exif: F Number: 8, Exposure Bias Value: 0.00, ExposureTime: 87/10 seconds, Flash: did not fire., ISO: 100, White balance: Auto white balance, FocalLength: 14.00 mm, Model: NIKON D5100


Elaine Hessler September 08, 2013

The title will only make sense to those that were there...

Here are two other pictures from the evening. I REALLY like the ones I took of Jeff light painting, but won't post them because they are so similar to the ones Mike posted, but his were so much better:) #1543679

Stephen Shoff September 08, 2013

I really like the way you post-processed the Milky Way image, Elaine. Looks to me like you went further with noise reduction than Igenerally do, lost a lot of clutter and so the individual bright stars and the "clouds" of the Milky Way stand out a lot better. #10837353

Teresa H. Hunt September 08, 2013

It really looks like you all had a lot of fun. So wish I could have made it this year.

I really love your Milky Way shot. I think I found a couple places around here to try one. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I like your other 2 shots as well. The reflection of the fire works is a cool addition. And the first image I really love the feel it gives. Ordinarily I'd say there is to much dark area and the light are is to small. But I think in this case it works well. :) #10837513

Dale Hardin September 08, 2013

It was a great night wasn't it Elaine? Was surprised to see that white ambient light on the horizon on the milky way shot. It didn't show up in mine. #10837672

Jeff E Jensen September 08, 2013

All three shots are fantastic, Elaine! I'm ready to go out again.

Teresa - Stars aren't that difficult to capture, you just need to get as far away from city light as possible. In Elaine's shot, the white light on the horizon on the right is coming from Stansbury Island, about 35 miles from where we were. The orange light is city light, as close as about 20 miles away.

The other trick is to use the fastest and widest lens you have available. I usually start at 30 seconds and ISO 3200 and go from there. Your 7D should handle it well, but there will be some noise to clean up. Take a couple of test shots and see what you get and then adjust your settings as you can. Start by lowering the ISO if you can. Don't shoot longer than 30 seconds, you will start to get trails. Also, I don't usually use the long exposure and high ISO noise reduction in camera, but this is a good time to use it. #10837765

Teresa H. Hunt September 08, 2013

Thanks Jeff. Is there a certain time of year that's best to shoot? And if I'm in a place far enough away that city lights won't show up on the horizon, is that good or bad? #10837846

Jeff E Jensen September 09, 2013

The less city light you have, the better. Oh, and you want to shoot it when there is little to no moon. We happened to time this shoot on the new moon night, so there was no moon at all. #10838131

Peter W. Marks September 09, 2013

Very interesting images Elaine, you guys get to do some interesting stuff and thanks for sharing. Thanks to you too Jeff for the camera settings. #10838429

Teresa H. Hunt September 09, 2013

Not quite sure how to ask what I'm trying to figure out:

So if you have no light but stars, then do you not need an interesting foreground? I'm thinking you'd want some interest in your landscape to anchor the shot. I'm just not sure how it would show up if it's pitch black except for stars. #10838729

Jeff E Jensen September 09, 2013

Ah, that is a good question, Teresa. You'll have a really hard time getting rid of the city light completely, so you will still end up with some in your image. For a foreground, look for something that will make a good silhouette and you'll be set. #10838916

Dale Hardin September 09, 2013

You can also take your star shot and then before closing the shutter, fire your flash to light a foreground such as a person or self portrait, etc. You would have to experiment with the power for desired effect. #10838971

Teresa H. Hunt September 09, 2013

Thanks guys. Now to find someone willing to stay up all night with me in the middle of no where . . . #10838973

Beth Spencer September 10, 2013

Elaine these are all great!!! Brings back such great memories!
Jeff would I use the same technique when we get to the ocean. We will be at the Outer Banks so city lights may not be a bad issue. #10839133

Jeff E Jensen September 10, 2013

Yup, same techniques should work fine. #10839285

Michael Kelly level-deluxe September 10, 2013

These are great Elaine. That was an experience taking these and I will always treasure that night. You should post your light painting shots – we all have different ways of presenting the same thing and not everyone will think that my shots were better, just different. #10839435

Elaine Hessler September 11, 2013

Thanks everyone! I'll post the other light painting shots this weekend under the Utah pics-long exposure.

Very busy with school and kid stuff (cross country and skating), so I'll have to catch up on the weekends for now. #10840857

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