Week 5

The Night Sky

“The Sentinel”

2014.02.08 Night Sky Edit 6

Last week, shooting ceramic/porcelain has me shooting inside the kitchen. This week, we were taken outside by our SOOC Challenge. Well, most of us were. Some of the other guys have done some great interpretations of the “night sky” theme. I gotta give it to some of them, they live in very cold areas and they still went outside and braved the cold. Look for their blog information linked at the bottom of this post, navigate to their blogs, view their images and comment. They would love to hear from you, and I’m sure you would love to see their photos.

The Sentinel stands over our property, watching with old eyes. Not old in the sense that he cannot see well, but old in the sense of wisdom. You see, he has lived a few years. A few decades, perhaps. He knows his surroundings. We are building a house right smack in the middle of his usual shade zone. For years, he has seen nothing but an empty field and a few sparse trees where our house is now being built.

When I saw him, towering over the project, I could help but think that he was watching out for us. He was keeping a wary eye on everything going on, and ensuring the safety of the property.

It was very cold the night I went to take this photos. Not cold like Chris experiences up in Minnesota, but very cold for Mississippi. It was breezy, with a wind chill of about 21 degrees. I went out to our house site, because even though it is in the city, the back of the property is quite dark. It is hidden from lights, which is part of why we like the place.

I was going to try to do a cool, spiral star trail shot, as I’ve never done one before. However, it has rained a ton here in the last few days, so I was not able to get out in the dirt yard and setup the tripod without just sinking to my knees. So, I put on my 70-200mm telephoto lens, setup the tripod under the edge of the back porch and shot out into the dark, night sky.

The results were mixed, as I was trying some long exposures, and didn’t know which settings to use. This sentinel shot was an idea I had after seeing how neat the trees looked that night, leaving the shutter open for about 5 minutes. I wanted to include a part of the roofline that the Sentinel is “watching over.” The straight vertical board that you see is some makeshift scaffolding that is on the side of the house right now. Both of those things lend well to this concept.

I will have to keep working this spring on some star trail shots. I ended up being so cold after being out there for a couple of hours, that I just had to quit. I might have kept trying otherwise.

All of the participants are as follows: [in no particular order]

Until next time…

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3 thoughts on “Week 5

  1. kainlane says:

    It’s about -24℉ this morning driving in to work, but not much for wind.
    This shot was open for 5 minutes? Wow must have been pretty dark back there for the image to still be this dark! I love trees and I always think they look neat lit underneath from artificial lighting, it’s so opposite from how they normally appear to us. Nice interpretation of the subject.

    • I believe this one was open that long, Chris. I did a bunch for that length, but when I posted, my wife was using my computer and I couldn’t get to the EXIF data. I forgot until just now that Eje showed me some sites to look up that date. I’ll go find it.

      Thanks for the comments .The only light was over 150′ away, across the street. It is a yellowish street light, so I guess that’s the color on the tree.

      EDIT: I just looked for the EXIF data, and both sites I copied the image URL into said there was no data. That is weird. I’ll look it up tonight.

  2. […] Last week, our challenge was “night sky.” This week, our challenge set us on green. Not just that it made us ready to go and take a photo, but the actual theme was green. Do you see what I did with the bold letters in the title of this piece? If you’re good at the jumble, it won’t be difficult to decipher. Some of the other photos have been fantastic, as usual. You’ll have to check out the other guys’ work linked at the bottom of this post. […]

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