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a safe return

Well, that was an unexpectedly stimulating and enjoyable evening taking photographs in Cambridge. I think I feel a new project emerging: Cambridge After Dark. I’ve not downloaded the images yet so it’s too early to evaluate this initial outing. But this was only ever going to be a trial run to learn from.

So, what did I learn?

  1. I enjoyed it so much that I already consider it a success.
  2. I already knew that automatic focus doesn’t work in the dark and it’s hard to focus manually in the dark, so I shot at f22 to maximise focal length.  My first few shots on AV mode were probably too dark, so I switched to bulb setting on manual mode and kept increasing the exposure times, until my final shot was 10 minutes.
  3. I arrived in town almost exactly at sunset, so the sky was still pale. I like the contrast with dark buildings lit by artificial light.
  4. Soon after I arrived, I startled a heron when I crossed a narrow wooden bridge over a stream in Newnham. It flew towards the mill pond where I saw it lurking a few minutes later in the shadows by the weir. I’ll be ready for it next time.
  5. There’s a shot I want to get on my next expedition of a line of gargoyle head water spouts silhouetted against the sky in Trinity Street. I think I’ll need the 300mm lens.
  6. I’d intended to park in The Backs but the parking bays were full. It turned out there was an open air choral concert by the river in the grounds of Trinity College. I stumbled across it by accident, catching the final few minutes. The sounds were beautiful, especially in the disappearing light, a magical experience, made even better by its unexpectedness. You won’t discover experiences like that without getting out there.
  7. To prevent people from accidentally bumping my tripod while the shutter was open, I stood close beside it protectively.
  8. I should take a back pack next time, to carry extra items, such as a jersey taken off because I was warmer than expected. Refreshments would be a good idea.
  9. I enjoyed it so much that I’m finding it hard to sleep tonight. Unfortunately I’m at work tomorrow. I’d much prefer a lie-in followed by a session of downloading photographs for import into Lightroom. It would be better if I could rearrange my work schedule for next time.

And that’s all for now. What more will I learn when I’ve seen the photographs?

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Monday, June 8th, 2015 photography

1 Comment to a safe return

  • […] to take photographs in Cambridge after dark, but because the sun set so much earlier than on my last foray, there were a lot more people in the streets. That’s not a problem, but I found myself taking […]

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