Borrowed Toys

I was chatting with my friend Lindsey the other day, chatting about photography whilst hanging of some ice axes in the pouring rain at one of the local dry tooling venues. Its a funny discipline, dry tooling, using ice axes on the rock with rock shoes on your feet climbing very steep walls.  Its an awesome workout and with it being so steep it can be done in the rain!

 This is how we drytool - Isabelle Santoire cranking up one of the 'easier' routes at the venue.

This is how we drytool - Isabelle Santoire cranking up one of the 'easier' routes at the venue.

Lindsey is one of these professional photographer types, luckily she is happy to help out with my insesante questions on my mission to get better! I was describing to her the problems I was having with taking night time shots and the amount of image noise I seem to encounter. Noise is the grainy effect you see sometimes on low light level photography's. I shoot with a Mircro Four Thirds camera which is basically a mirrorless DSLR. Being mirrorless it is compact and relatively light. This makes it great a great camera to take into the mountains and still get super shots. It is amazing for super bright, colorful images but having a smaller sensor it struggles in very low light conditions. Because of that it requires the ISO to be bumped up to make the image possible.  When shooting photographs with film you choose the ISO or speed of the film, this is basically the size of the light sensitive particals on the film, the bigger the particals the less light is needed to expose the image. The same works in digital. Lindsey lent me one of her professional full frame cameras to use and see if it was easier to take night shots without so much noise.

 The T-Rex is real, not Photo Shopped in! There are Dinosaur foot prints a short walk from the Emosson Dam in Switzerland so there is a pretty life like looking T-Rex up there, a little creepy in the dark... The Tour de France also rode up the the dam in 2016 so of course they put a yellow bike helmet on his head!  This image is a 3.2 second exposure with an aperture of f2 and an ISO of 8000. Taken at 2330 on the 12th August 2017, the day of the Perseid Meteor shower.

The T-Rex is real, not Photo Shopped in! There are Dinosaur foot prints a short walk from the Emosson Dam in Switzerland so there is a pretty life like looking T-Rex up there, a little creepy in the dark... The Tour de France also rode up the the dam in 2016 so of course they put a yellow bike helmet on his head!

This image is a 3.2 second exposure with an aperture of f2 and an ISO of 8000. Taken at 2330 on the 12th August 2017, the day of the Perseid Meteor shower.

 This image was taken at the Col du Montet showing a reflection of the Milkyway with the Aiguille Verte and Les Drus framed between two trees. The road is the other side of the lake giving a great back lit effect to the trees. Shot with a 20 second exposure at f2 with an ISO of 8000 at 2250 on the 20th August 2017.

This image was taken at the Col du Montet showing a reflection of the Milkyway with the Aiguille Verte and Les Drus framed between two trees. The road is the other side of the lake giving a great back lit effect to the trees. Shot with a 20 second exposure at f2 with an ISO of 8000 at 2250 on the 20th August 2017.

I was Impressed. Having a full frame camera meant that I could use faster shutter speeds to get less movement of the stars. This instantly makes for clearer images, the camera also allows the ISO to be bumped up with less noise on the images and therefore less editing afterwards.

I also had my first go at creating a Milkyway time lapse. It needs a bit of work but looks pretty funky i think.

Now all I need to complete the puzzle of taking super sharp night shots is a gizmo that moves with earths rotation keeping the stars in a fixed position while the shot is taken...