The Trouble with Color

The trouble with shooting color at night, under a full moon, in a landscape with no artificial lights, is that the processed image can look a lot like a day-time photograph — which is interesting, but why do that?  Except for the stars (which, if they’re just dots, may look like dust spots), it may be not be immediately obvious that it’s a night-time photograph. This happened with some of my shots from a recent night-photo excursion to Bodie State Historic Park. The colors are beautiful, but they could be mistaken for under-exposed day-time photos.

Standard Mill, Bodie

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School, Bodie

As much as I like these in color, I think they look more night-like in black & white.

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Standard Mill, Bodie

Standard Mill, Bodie

These were converted to black & white using Silver Efex Pro, but nearly the same results could be had in Lightroom or Photoshop. I’ve darkened the blues in these, to make the skies blacker.

School, Bodie

School, Bodie

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Boone Store, Bodie

Boone Store, Bodie

All were exposed for 30 seconds, ISO 800 to 1000, f/5.6 to f/9, using a Fuji X-T1 and 18-55 mm lens at 18mm.

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Tim Messick Photography • Graphics
Copyright © 2014 Tim Messick. All rights reserved.

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About Tim Messick

Photographer, cartographer, and botanist/naturalist. Home is in Davis, California. Home-away-from-home is the eastern Sierra Nevada. Compiling a flora of the Bodie Hills.
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