Night sky in Acadia


17mm, f4, iso 2500, 35 seconds

Shooting at night isn’t easy. I had a really hard time getting the focus right on most attempts, and as I fumbled around in the dark trying to deal with technical and compositional challenges, I experimented with a variety of focal lengths, aperture sizes, levels of iso, and the length of each exposure. One of the things I found most exciting was how the camera would, over the length of the exposure, gather much more light than my eye could see. I would stand for 30 seconds or so in total darkness holding the camera shutter open, but when I would get a preview of the image on the back of the LCD, I could “see” the scene quite clearly. Depending on the focal length chosen, an exposure of more than 25 seconds would likely result in bright stars exhibiting “trails” rather than pin-point beacons of light. I’m sure you have seen the effect of very long exposures where the earth rotates while the shutter is open, rendering long and interesting trails of light in the sky… that wasn’t what I was going for here, but it is something I am very interested in trying out sometime soon.

50mm, f2.2, iso 3200, 22 seconds


24 thoughts on “Night sky in Acadia

    • David Patterson

      Bill… I did have quite a bit of noise in these. Nothing that I would consider printing, but fun to shoot and display on the web.

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Carol… I do like these. The first is from Sand Beach and if you look closely you can see the Big Dipper just above the treeline. The second is a pretty famous landmark in Acadia, and a place that I have photographed often… but not at night.

  1. Reblogged this on Acadian Soul and commented:
    These were taken by fellow blogger of mine who lives in the Bangor area, but comes out to the island often to photograph. He’s got way more technical experience then I, so I’m sharing his beautiful night sky photos of Acadia. Please do not copy or share them, just enjoy. Visit his blog and link to a website if you want to see more of his work.

  2. Nice achievement. Only in the Belgium Ardennes we can capture that amount of stars, and mostly these pictures I’ve tried making were full of blinking airplanes. Thanks for giving the aperture values, David
    grz. M

    • David Patterson

      Thanks Mark. It can be hard finding places these days where you are free from all of the light pollution. Luckily Acadia is still pretty clear.

    • David Patterson

      It’s amazing what you can see if you get a dark sky. The darkest sky I’ve ever seen was in Death Valley, California, but it is surprisingly dark over Acadia.

  3. atropos1

    WoW! Amazing. very inspiring photography. It would mean a lot to me (to hear from an expert) if you visited my blog and gave me some feedback. thanks x

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