The Gods Themselves

The Gods Themselves

f/1.8, 2.5", ISO-1600, 50mm

Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. ~ Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller

I decided to take advantage of unseasonably warm weather we are having in Iowa to try once again to do some nighttime photography. Oh,  I’ve tried it before. I’ve shot the moon a few times. But for the most part my attempts at photography after dark have been unpublishable. There have been a variety of reasons for this. Sometimes it was too breezy. Sometimes it was too damn cold and it just hurt to be out there trying to photograph with frozen fingers.

The biggest issue has been focus, pure and simple. I’ve yet to learn the trick of getting the proper focus on something I can’t see. Trying to get far enough away from the subject and focusing on infinity doesn’t work. In the end to get this picture I just turned the car’s bright beams on the tree and got focus, then turned the headlights off to take the picture.

My frustration with nighttime photography led to the quote above and I am alternately determined to master this in 2012 and ready to give up all attempts and content myself with what I already know  I’m good at. I suspect in the end the temptation will be too great to stay away though.

This shot is reasonably sharp and has a bit of dramatic flair. Don’t be surprised if you see this image show up again in my posts. I don’t think I’ve ever actually posted the same image twice, but I’m tempted with this one. I want to try some advanced (for me) editing techniques, getting the twigs out of the upper right and seeing what I can do to bring out the stars a little more. We’ll see. For now, this is about the best I’ve done at night I think.

This entry was posted in Natural Lighting, Nature, Night, Photography and tagged , , .


  1. photosfromtheloonybin January 7, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Love it – very dramatic!

    • AJBopp January 8, 2012 at 12:12 pm #

      It’s one of the few night shots I’ve taken that I can even stomach, so I’m glad you like it!

  2. cherokeebydesign January 8, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Very Awesome.

    Try carrying a very bright flashlight with you….with the camera on a tripod, light the subject with the bright light, focus, turn off the light, and snap the photo. You’ll have to keep working it like this until you get the exposure right…..that’s what I do any ways.


    • AJBopp January 8, 2012 at 11:55 am #

      Thanks Raven! Glad you like it, and thanks for the really great suggestion. I think I was trying to over-complicate it again as usual. But such a simple idea is usually the one that works well.

  3. Nicole Ftacnik Photography January 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

    I like this shot and think you did a swell job! Also, I hear ya when it comes to nighttime photography… I have a hard time with it, too 🙂

    • AJBopp January 8, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

      Thank you! I’m still working on this shot. I cropped out a bit of the sky but I’m not happy having done that. But there were a few branches in the upper right (still there even in this shot) that were even more pronounced really detracted from the scene. I’m going to see if I can photoshop them out and maybe post an update.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.