I love the night lights

I spent a rainy Friday evening undertaking a 3 hour ‘night lights’ photography course. While the course is run by Sydney Photographic Workshops, I purchased it via Red Balloon using a voucher I was recently given. Despite some nervousness related to walking around the city following a week of consistent rain, I had a fantastic time. While it did continue to rain, it was light and I managed not to step in any large puddles so my feet remained relatively dry.

We undertook a series of exercises at different locations through the city. These included

  • shooting a bracket to check which level of exposure we liked
  • making people ‘vanish’ through adjustments in aperture
  • ‘torch writing’
  • extremely slow shutter speeds to get ‘trails’ of traffic
  • using exposure adjustment to turn night into day, and
  • shooting crazy lights with lots of movement

We really didn’t go far in 3 hours. We started at the Opera House and made our way up to the Cahill Expressway where there was a fantastic view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. We ended in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art which gave us another view of the Opera House and the bridge. In the end, it didn’t matter that much where we went or how far, or even how good our photographs were. The night helped me get a better grasp of the three pillars of exposure – Shutter Speed, Aperture and ISO. Previously I was a ‘change the shutter speed’ junkie. I finished the evening with a new found appreciation of what I could do with aperture. That I could set the aperture to F22 and almost make people walking through my shot vanish was really pretty neat!

Here’s a few of my shots from the evening.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

18-55mm lens at 55mm, f/5.6 for 1/2 sec, ISO 1600

Capturing the mood

18-55mm lens at 18mm, f/4.5 for 1.3sec, ISO 400

Sydney Harbour Bridge from Cahill Expressway

18-55mm lens at 18mm, f/5.6 for 1/2 sec, ISO 1600


Posted on February 5, 2012, in Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. These are beautiful. The last one is my favourite.

  2. Pretty! Especially the last one!

  3. You have brought back some memories with these pictures. I spent my 40th birthday in Sydney – staying at the old Holiday Inn in a room with windows looking out over both the Bridge and Opera House (obtained through the goodwill of the manager after my harbour view room request had gone astray in the booking process, and I had a quivering lip moment in reception when it appeared my birthday treat wasn’t going to materialise).

    It is an amazing skyline, and you have captured it so well!

  4. Stunning photos! I am envious of your talent and ambition when it comes to photography. For myself, I am stuck with iPhone photos. All the more reason to enjoy yours.

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