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Tag Archives: Timed Exposure


Cassiopeia is the “M” shaped constellation at the top of the image.  The short version of the myth is that she was a goddess who was placed in the sky as punishment for her vanity.

I think she’s still pretty beautiful up there!


beach 3

Another image of a moonlit beach on The Big Island (Hawai’i).  This is the third in a series of four images.  Tomorrow I’ll explain how I found myself doing night photography at zero-dark-thirty on these beautiful shores…

mo'omomi morning

A long exposure allows the jagged rocks to be outlined by the smooth white surf.  I like the contrasts in this image:  soft vs hard, light vs dark, still vs moving.  I also like the fact that there’s no signs of humans.  This area is really an ancient landscape, containing petrified dunes and fossils of extinct creatures.  Swept by strong winds and pounded by large surf, the coastline has been sculpted over millions of  years into its present state.  This is land that should  be visited with reverence.  It was an honor to get to shoot here and to experience the magic and mystery of a unique place that hosts very few visitors.

evening sea

If I had to pick my absolute favorite time of day for landscape photography, it would be that narrow window between day and night when long exposures are possible but there’s still enough ambient light to walk around without risking life and limb.  And my favorite place to shoot during that window is at the seashore.

This image was taken on Moloka’i last April.  The lava rocks anchor the bottom of the image, while the ocean above dissolves into a blurred mist-scape

I’ll be posting a series of late evening and early morning shots over the next few days.  I hope you enjoy them.

Havana night

Photographers who put their cameras away right after sunset miss some cool stuff.  I know, because I used to be one of them.

Fortunately, no one seems to mind too much if you lug a tripod around in Havana.  I mean, you get a lot of quizzical looks just because you’re American, and you dress differently and talk funny.  (And despite over three decades of practice, I know my Spanish still leaves much to be desired!)  So the tripod and camera gear don’t add that much interest.

One thing that makes night photography that much more challenging in Cuba is that there simply isn’t that much light…even in Havana.  I thought the buildings would be much more brightly lit, and I had high hopes for the dome, but the lights were never turned on!

So even though this image was taken right in the middle of Havana, it has a different look than, say, an image taken at night in San Francisco or New York.  Times Square this ain’t!

With a long exposure, the light-colored buildings reflect enough light from the widely scattered streetlights and very occasional headlights (this was a 30-second exposure between sunset and dark–notice how little traffic there is on the street?) to give them a pretty and yet almost surreal glow.

So my night images in Havana weren’t what I was expecting…but I like them even more because of that!


The San Francisco Giants won the World Series tonight.  I happened to be in San Francisco a few nights ago, and was amazed at how many buildings were sporting orange lights in support of the team.  Visible in the above image are the following, left to right:

  • Coit Tower
  • Transamerica (Pyramid) Building
  • Ferry Building (top)
  • City Hall
  • Embarcadero Center

It seems like a number of other office and apartment buildings decided to light some of their windows and/or rooftops orange as well.  It was great to see the city landmarks “color-coded” and standing out from their surroundings.

Just one request:  can we leave the orange lights on through Halloween?