My Camera at Night

Tonight’s full moon is rising in the East, so I thought I had to at least try and get some photos of it because I have the perfect vantage point. It was big and bright, and the night sky was cloudless as it made it’s way from up behind the far end of the valley. Accept for the Moon, it was a reasonably good night for start gazing too. So I braved the cold and stood outside in the complete dark watching the sky like a lunatic hypnotised on the Moon. I know someone was watching me – that creepy feeling.

Try as I might, without my SLR, these little point and shoot cameras just do not cut it. Though, I was quite amazed at how well this little Kodak camera worked?

I did not know that I could adjust the shutter time up to four seconds, and play around with the ISO settings too. I just barely pushed the little camera to its limit taking timed exposure images outside in the dark with very little light. I was surprised!

I have done night shots before with my Kodak M1063 in the dead of winter when there was lots of snow, and the light could reflect off the snow adding much more light than normal. But the results were fifty-fifty, as it was hit and miss on each shot without the extra light. But one out of every ten snow shots turned out really good. I have posted some of them on the blog just this last month.

But nothing prepared me for these shots tonight when I discovered that I could manually set the shutter speed, with pre-set times, for timed exposures. So I cranked it up to its maximum, four seconds, and away I went. With four seconds, I could just barely capture enough of the faint light, and get some of the brighter starts up in the sky. What this night showed me, working with this camera, was that if the conditions were better, say no full moon and less smog, I could get twice as many stars with a four second exposure. Not bad for a One-hundred dollar camera?

This shot, you can see the Orion star constellation, and part of my trailer, lower Left. Of course I cropped the image down, as it was originally a 10 mega byte size, and resized the image to a quarter of its original size to fit it on the web site. I did no other manipulations to the image. But this is cool! I’m very happy that I can do some night time photography with it. However, nothing beats a good SLR.

Note: For all of these shoots, I did use a good sturdy tripod. You really need to the keep the camera still while doing long exposures with your camera.

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