Night out in Nelson

Night out in Nelson

A few weeks back the Nelson Camera Club had a field trip, led by member Daniel W.  The idea was to learn about night sky photography.  Initially, fairly thick clouds blocked our view.  Rather than go home early, we stopped off at a (fireproof) location and played with some light painting.  Sandra J showed us what can be done with steel wool and matches (more on that later in this post.

Eventually however the sky cleared up and we headed off to the Boulder Bank.  My best effort was very satisfying:


That was taken with a DX lens, the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8,  on a full frame Nikon D700.  You see see a bit of distortion towards the edges, but otherwise it’s fairly sharp.

One of my early efforts got Daniel quite excited.  He thought that we’d managed to capture an example of the ‘zodiacal light’.  Look at this:


If you compare it with the example shown in this link, I think you’ll agree he was right.

If you would like to know more about the techniques used for night sky photography, Daniel prepared some excellent notes for his talk to the camera club.  You can find them here:

Notes on Night Sky Photography

Back to the light painting.  How’s this for a demonstration of what steel wool can do?


(The occasional walker coming through that underpass was no doubt rather alarmed, wondering what we were up to.)

Sandra then showed us how to use a portable LED light to paint objects:


It was a good evening and I learnt a lot.


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