Point Reyes

Yosemite

San Francisco

Marin Headlands

Topography of Night

Night is closed in: intimate but foreign. Space and depth are implied. Night is familiar but exotic. How many of us go wandering in the wilderness at night? This foreign country is near but far.

The topography and geography of night is strange to us. Vistas are hard won and therefore valuable. True night is rarer than it used to be and light pollution ubiquitious.

Here are some of my favorite places in the topography of night...





South Beach Sunset

In the gathering dusk, Mike and I left Drakes Beach and headed across the narrow Point Reyes peninsula to South Beach. Unprotected and facing the open Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Farallones, the wind swept in bitter cold and covered cameras, cars, and people with salt spray. The trick with this capture was to guage the length of the exposure correctly. Long exposures of the surf at dusk can produce interesting effects, but they don’t show the savage and beautiful action of individual waves. Read more
South Beach Sunset

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Midnight Rambles

I took this photo of the view down Tenaya Canyon towards Half Dome shortly before midnight on June 21. I was standing on a granite rock “platform” about 1/2 a mile from the parking lot at Olmsted Point along the Tioga Pass road. I exposed the image for 1348 seconds, or 22.5 minutes. You can see the Tenaya watershed, Mt Sunrise, and Half Dome (towards the right of the photo) lit by ambient starlight and the setting crescent moon. Read more
Midnight Rambles

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Golden Gate at Night

This is a two minute time exposure of the Golden Gate and San Francisco, taken at night in cold and foggy conditions, from the rather oddly named Slacker Ridge (one of the high points in the Marin Headlands directly above the Golden Gate Bridge). Read more
Golden Gate at Night

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Starry Night

I was photographing the Golden Gate Bridge after dark. I turned round, and saw this beautiful moonscape. I thought I might as well try to capture it, although you never know what you are going to get with these kinds of exposures. A key point: I used the menus on my Nikon D200 to turn on the long exposure compensation since this image was exposed for thirty seconds. Read more
Starry Night

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Fairy Lights in a Water Drop

Inside the fire was burning, the Christmas tree was lit, and the family was happily and merrily manufacturing mayhem. I stepped outside to taste the weather and for a moment of quiet. The rain had stopped and the world was very still and foggy. I noticed that the succulent on our front porch was plastered with jewel-like water drops, and the drops reflected our outdoor Christmas lights (or, as they call them in England, Fairy lights).

Exposing using the available light provided by the reflections of these small and distant colored bulbs, and whatever ambient light they provided, was on the tricky side. It was hard to see anything, either on the camera, the macro rig, or the composition. Forget about visually checking depth-of-field! These were long time exposures. Fortunately, everything did stay very still. There was not a breath of wind. Read more

Fairy Lights in a Water Drop



Twilight Turns to Night

Night at Point Reyes Lighthouse © Harold Davis. Five minute exposure @ISO 100.

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