Everyone loves light shows, from fireworks to the Northern Lights, it’s always tremendous. When we were in Grenfell last week, I stayed up to 2AM because the Aurora Borealis were dancing up a storm. That and I wanted to nab a few star trail shots. I couldn’t wait to see what the lcd screen showed me after I finished the 15 minute long exposures. Pure awesome, I thought to myself. That is, until I got the shots home. On the computer monitor I could see something wacky. It looked like a dust spot, but I had just cleaned my camera. Upon closer inspection, I saw these concentric circles radiating out of the center of the image. CRAP! I thought I had destroyed my camera’s sensor chip by taking fireworks shots! 😥
What a gong show! But then, I did some research on the net and came across this article that explains this phenomenon:
With my Nikon lenses I have found that long exposures result in concentric circles showing up in the middle of the images when I use a filter of any kind. Nikon says this is due to the high reflectivity of the aurora. Thanks to the University of Alaska forecaster, the explanation follows. “These are interference fringes due to the parallel faces of the filter and to the narrow spectral emission at 5577 Angstroms in the aurora. That green, atomic oxygen emission line is the strongest emission in the aurora near our film and eye peak sensitivity, so it shows up first when there is any device in the optical path which sorts out the spectral emissions.” So, don’t use filters!
That pretty much sums it up. Lesson learned. If you’re after the Aurora, don’t forget to take your filter off your camera lens! I wish I would have known that before hand. 😳
So we had a Valentine’s Family Fun night at our church tonight and Phoebe won a heart based princess wand glow stick – which she won on the merit of being under 5. 🙂 All that ran through my mind was “Wicked! We can take super rad pictures with that thing!” And, so we did. 😉
I love crazy shutter stuff. And glow sticks make the very best night shots, especially when kids are fired up to try it out. Grab your camera, your tripod and your fun shoes and give this a whirl. Manual Mode dialled into 30 seconds at f/8, ISO at 200 or whatever (mine was at 320 I think). Make sure your focus is on manual and set your lens to infinity. Then get your kids to go in front of the camera and start whirling around like crazed psychos! The more excited the better! She had the best time!
But then, it get’s even more fun when you get more people to join in the madness and, add your flash. It ends up giving you the coolest Ghost images! Fun! 🙂
Then, at the end, I couldn’t resist. I had to get in on all the madness myself – I’m not sure who had more fun, me or Phoebe?! Hehehheh… 😉
Check out the rest of the shots in the slideshow. They are all single images edited only to pump up the saturation. The ghost images come because of multiple flash fires while the people move around to different spots.