On The Road To Ballarat

August 31, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

Silo near Junee, New South Wales.
Shot with Canon EOS 5DSR and 11-24mm, 30 seconds at f4, ISO 5000.

 

There's nothing like a road trip to recharge your batteries. I was invited down to the Ballarat International Foto Biennale to assist on the Portfolio Review panel and give a presentation on landscape photography, so I drove the 1200 odd kilometres from Sydney. And back.

 

As a city slicker, I love getting out into the country. It's different. And I love the old buildings. Yes, they are cliche, but that doesn't stop me photographing them and my current passion is for grain silos. I love how they punctuate the landscape and each has its own character. Perhaps the beginning of a series...

 

So, how do you take night shots? To get great photos of the Milky Way, a moonless night is certainly the best, and away from cities and towns so there's as little light pollution as possible.

 

When there's a full moon, there's so much light around it's difficult to see the stars, but a partial moon may still leave you with some opportunities.


In this photograph, the silo is illuminated by a half moon, creating the heavy shadows and the great three-dimensionality. If there were no moon, the silo would be a silhouette (although it could be lit with a torch or a flash light, of course).

 

I'm suggesting that moonlight itself can be just as important as the stars above. I think in coming years we will grow tired of silhouetted landscapes below, whereas the use of the moon as a light source opens up many more possibilities. Just as we choose between blue and cloudy skies for our daytime photographs, perhaps we will select different strengths and directions of moonlight for our night time forays.

 

Don't forget! The Better Photography Magazine Photograph of the Year competition is now open. Entries close 15 September 2015. You can enter the competition and also see the top 50 winners from each of the 6 categories in our previous competitions on our dedicated competition website - competition.betterphotography.com.


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