Friday, January 27, 2012

New Year's Eve at our tree farm

...and the photographer said, "Let there be light!" And there was light - and it was good. And the weather was great considering it was a winter day in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Due to an unexpected flat tire - aren't they always unexpected? - I didn't get to the party in the hills until around 4 p.m.
But I was still in time to relax and go up to the newly built platform to view the last sunset of 2011 with my sister and her family and friends.

And as we sat around the campfire, telling stories and making good things to eat, I looked up at the towering trees, the majesty of which caused my father to call our cabin and its surroundings "Chartres".

After the sun set, thousands of stars appeared that I hadn't seen in years. The light smog in Stuttgart doesn't allow for such wonderful night skies.

Three of us were playing with our cameras in the dark, so I decided to show the others about painting with light, using the flashlights that are so important to us out there in the dark (if you need to find something or go to the outhouse between 8 pm and 6:30 am). Jane held nice and still, so her facial features - especially her eyes - came out fairly sharp in this 35-second exposure. 

35 sec., f13, ISO 400, 50mm
This next portrait looks strangely Middle Eastern. Kate's hair band looks like a turban and the fact that only her eyes were illuminated by Jane's flashlight makes the rest of her face look strangely secretive as if it were wrapped in a scarf. It's the opposite of the type of lighting you usually want for a portrait, but this image has stuck in my mind. That shows me that rules are made to be toyed with.

50 sec., f13, ISO 100, 100mm

Now it is up to you to guess how we made this next picture. Kate's flashlight shadow reminds me of Friedrich Schiller's profile.

Now we've got a very dramatic looking scene. It reminds me very much of a scene from an expressionistic drama. Wanna guess how we made that?

Finally, we did the type of light painting that some of you may have also played with. Kate stood still while her friend traced around her with a flashlight pointed at the camera.

Even in the dark it is possible to take pictures, ones that you can't take during the day!
The first day of the year we walked over our tree farm. Pictures from that hike will follow.

1 comment:

  1. Esp love that first shot. It IS a beautiful country, isn;t it?!