Doane Cemetery, Hawley MA. March 9, 2013Posted by littlebangtheory in Love and Death.
Tags: Doane Cemetery, Hawley MA, light painting, night sky, star photo
My housemates went up to the Maine Coast this weekend for some night photography, reminding me that it was a New Moon ’round about tonight and tomorrow night.
Well, I can’t get away, but thought I’d find something closer to home which might make a suitable subject for taking advantage of a clear, moonless night.
I headed up into the hills to get away from cities, towns and highways, but you know, there’s nowhere really, really dark in Massachusetts. The best I could manage was to get to a high meadow in the hills, find something worth shooting and work with the ambient light.
I settled on the Doane Cemetery in Hawley, beautifully situated on a dome of farmland off of Forget Road. The faint glow of distant Pittsfield tainted the horizon, and I knew that with a long exposure to get the stars, it would be a compositional element. So I looked for a foreground element with enough presence to stand up to the background light.
I settled on a tall monument, which I lit with about five seconds of “light painting” from a small LED flashlight. It was a bit clumsily done, but with the camera a foot off the snow, evaluating the image meant laying in the wet snow, which I could only do a couple of times before I was soaked and had to call it a night.
Next time, it’s full gear and a foam pad for this old boy!
Anyway, here’s the best of several images – taken with a 16mm lens, ISO 6400, f/8, 30″ exposure:
I was surprised at how little of the sky I got with my 16mm lens; seems to me it looked somewhat grander when I last took night shots up at Acadia National Park in Maine this past autumn.
Oh well, I like the image anyway, and without buying a wider lens, that’ll have to be good enough!