For years I have been intimidated to venture out away from portraits and explore landscape photography deeper. Particularly, starry night photos. I have always been in admiration of these images that seem to capture the enormity of the galactic phenomena in which we belong. With the assignment to learn something new for a grad school class, I was finally required to attempt this something new. To get started, I read a few articles full of great useful tips to accomplish this goal. In my research, I came across an article featuring photographer Ben Canales, who I actually met years ago! I used many of the tips he included in his article and set off for my first trial run.
Here are some tips:
1) Use a tripod;
2) Use a remote or trigger system;
3) Find a location with open sky views;
4) Check the weather - ideal weather is clear to partly cloudy;
5) Know your moon phases - it is best to have a moon that is half full or less;
6) Be aware of other light, including city light pollution;
7) Focus on an object in the distance on auto mode, then switch focus to manual;
8) Ideal settings are: ISO 3200, aperture 1.6 (or lowest possible on lens), shutter speed 30 seconds.
My first attempt in John's Landing in SW Portland. (Moon phase was half)
My second attempt at Clear Lake in the Mt. Hood National Forest. (Moon phase was full)
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The above quote reminds me so much of my little niece. She is growing up to be such a strong, confident, and out-spoken little girl. I have been photographing her and my sister since she was born and it is incredible to see her grow up a little bit every time we shoot.
I am excited to share some photos from my shoot with Jennifer and Alphonse. We met at Pittock Mansion, the actual mansion is a French Renaissance-style home located in the West Hills. Built in 1909, it was owned by Henry Pittock and was home to his family for several generations. Mr. Pittock had quite the local relevance as he was publisher of the Oregonian. His wife, Georgiana, was also one of the founders of the Rose Festival. When visiting the rooms of the mansion, it is obvious that the family was quite wealthy, but also maintained modesty. Mr. Pittock's room even appears to be one of the smaller rooms of the home. It was clear that he built this house for his family.
Pittock mansion is not the only beautiful sight to see. Behind the historic home is an incredible panoramic view of the city. On clear days, Mt. Hood is simply awe-inspiring.
I met Jennifer back in the old college days at Oregon State University. I was delighted to meet her boyfriend Alphonse. I do no think that I have ever had a couple shoot where there were so many contagious smiles. It was love and laughter the entire time--just the way it should be.
Among the rich colors of the leaves, lush greenery, and unpredictable rains - Portland is a wonderful place to be in the fall. My dear friends Seth and Chantell recently joined me at Laurelhurst Park in Southeast Portland to capture the changing season and capture them too.