Night Photography

More lightning on the edge of the prairie

The other side of the fence - 2014 © Christopher Martin

With the nightly storms, I have had a couple of opportunities to get out and photograph the lightning.  These are the remaining shots from the first night that I went out and had great forks of lightning stretch out in the clouds near my home.  The storm’s strikes would come in waves and resulted in several nice images.

Lightning along the Cowboy Trail - 2014 © Christopher Martin

I wanted to put a person into the scene and I graciously accepted the invitation to do so :)

Storm watching - 2014 © Christopher Martin

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Night lightning - 2014 © Christopher Martin

 


Electric Sky

A very energetic storm rolled out of the mountains and spread across the prairies last night.  Bobbi was driving home as the clouds thickened and the lightning began to streak across the sky.  At her urging, I went out to photograph the light show and it was spectacular.  The summer heat seemed to have loosened up Zeus’s arm and he was firing bolts down to the ground and between clouds for a couple of hours.

Lightning Forest - 2014 © Christopher Martin

(Please click on the image if you would like to view a higher resolution version)

This image was taken at the sports field in Redwood Meadows just a little ways from my house.  The clouds were running east along the south side of the Elbow River.  To the north, the sky was clear which presented an interesting background to lightning.  Following a few minutes set up by the field, I went out onto the prairies after this image and had a great (although late) night storm watching.


Aurora Borealis over the Elbow River

Aurora over the Elbow - 2014 © Christopher MartinAurora over the Elbow
Canon 5DIII + 24mm f/1.4 lens: 2.5 seconds at f/1.6 on ISO 1600

The Northern Lights came to life over my home in Redwood Meadows a couple of nights ago.  I threw on some winter gear and walked down to the Elbow River with my camera and tripod.  The moon was waning but was close to full and lit up the snow and ice so my headlamp wasn’t needed.  I went out on the ice and watched the Aurora ripple across the northern quarter of the sky.  It was a cold and very late show.  And I loved it.

Note: Click on any photograph to open a higher resolution version of the image.

Aurora fire - 2014 © Christopher MartinNorthern Lights on ice
Canon 5DIII + 24mm f/1.4 lens: 1.6 seconds at f/2.5 on ISO 1600

 

Aurora Flare - 2014 © Christopher MartinAurora Flare
Canon 5DIII + 24mm f/1.4 lens: 4 seconds at f/2.5 on ISO 1600

The colors dimmed after an hour or so and I could barely make out the lights.  The camera could still resolve them and I liked the subtle color in one of the last images from the evening.

Fading Aurora - 2014 © Christopher MartinFading lights
Canon 5DIII + 24mm f/1.4 lens: 3.2 seconds at f/2 on ISO 1600

 

Searching for the Northern Lights - 2014 © Christopher MartinSearching for the Northern Lights
Canon 5DIII + 24-105mm f/4 lens at 24mm: 8 seconds at f/8 on ISO 1600


Evening at Cathedral Rock

Alpen light on the Cathedral - 2014 © Christopher MartinAlpen glow over Red Rock Crossing
Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm f/4 lens at 140mm: 2 seconds at f/11 on ISO 200

The afternoon I spent at Red Rock Crossing was a fun trek along Oak Creek but when the shadows lengthened, I trotted back to where I could have a view of Cathedral Rock.  It’s an iconic location and with the evening light moving into deep reds I was enthralled by her beautiful cliffs and spires.

Nighttime at the Cathedral - 2014 © Christopher MartinNighttime at the Cathedral
Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm f/4 lens at 184mm: 5 seconds at f/4 on ISO 2500

After a couple minutes of splashing around, the red color disappeared quickly, leaving pink clouds above and darkening rock below.  It did not take very long for the stars to start standing out against evening’s blanket.  A beautiful evening in Sedona, Arizona.

Sedona into sleep - 2014 © Christopher MartinSedona to sleep
Canon 5D Mark III + 70-200mm f/4 lens at 140mm: 5 seconds at f/4 on ISO 3200


Moonsliver

Luna Creciente - 2013 © Christopher Martin

We started our stay in Mexico with a new moon, a week later this thin crescent met us on our last night.  I love the deep shadows cast by her craters when the moon has just started waxing.


Full Moon Rising

We escaped to Montana for a couple of days yesterday.  The drive along the Going-To-The-Sun road that bisects Glacier National Park was beautiful with great views through the mountains in the evening light.  When we pulled into Columbia Falls, we noticed a glow along the mountain ridge on the west side of the park.  The moon was rising fast and we didn’t have to wait very long to watch it clear the mountains.  It had a very different feel from the last moonrise I watched in the Khutzeymateen and was every bit as beautiful.  A great start to our getaway in another great part of the world.

Moonrise above the Glacier National Park - 2013 © Christopher Martin


Moonlight over Mount Rundle

Hiding in the clouds - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 80 seconds at f/11 on ISO 800

During the tail-end of the full phase of August’s blue moon I went to the edge of the first of the Vermilion Lakes just west of the Banff townsite and set up for a night of long exposures.  I drifted in and out of sleep but my timer remote stayed awake and kept running across the dark hours of the night.  The clouds raced across the sky under pretty steady winds.  With the longer exposures, they were stretched out and occasionally lent a mystical quality to the images.

Moon streaks - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 658 seconds at f/11 on ISO 400

A break in the sky for the blue moon - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 80 seconds at f/11 on ISO 800

As it drew closer to the morning, the land started to brighten and one of the last images revealed more of the scenery.

The gentle approach of dawn - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40mm lens: 238 seconds at f/11 on ISO 1000


A blue moon in the Khutzeymateen

The Khutzeymateen's Blue Moon - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 500mm lens: 1/1000th of a second at f/4 on ISO 2500

On the last night in the Khutzeymateen there was a short break in the clouds right as the full moon was clearing the tree tops across the bay.  This was the fourth moon of the season earning the distinction of being a blue moon.  It seemed an appropriate way to end a spectacular visit to this wonderful inlet.


Lightning strikes on the prairie

 Night lighting - © Christopher Martin-0417

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24-105 lens: 6.0 seconds at f/6.3 on ISO 800

(click on any image to open a page with a higher resolution version)

A couple of nights ago, lightning was being thrown around by several large storm clouds as they spread out and rolled over the prairies.  After a spectacular sunset in Kananaskis Country earlier (the image below), I had just drove out of the mountains when I saw these strikes lighting up both the fields and the clouds.

Night's march above Kananaskis - 2013 © Christopher Martin

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 17-40 lens: 1/160th of a second at f/5.6 on ISO 800

I ended up pulling off of the Trans-Canada Highway at Hermitage Road to watch this summer performance.  It was just before 11pm when I set up my camera along a fence which was busy splitting up a meadow of wild grass.  The moon was out and waxing near full so the land was gently lit up.  

Moonlit - © Christopher Martin-0433

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24-105 lens: 2.5 seconds at f/5.6 on ISO 1600

It was warm but the mosquitos compelled me to put on a light jacket.  When a breeze came up around midnight, it was a perfect night to be outdoors.  

A lone fork - © Christopher Martin-0568

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24-105 lens: 10 seconds at f/8.0 on ISO 1600

Two hours flew by largely unnoticed before the storms had moved out of view and I decided to head home.

Lightning forks - 2013 © Christopher Martin-0416

Canon 5DIII camera with a Canon 24-105 lens: 6.0 seconds at f/6.3 on ISO 800


Dawn at the Lion’s Gate Bridge

The Lion waits for dawn - 2013 © Christopher Martin

(as always, please click on any image to open a higher resolution version)

In March, I spent a weekend in Vancouver photographing birds, Granville Market and a few other things with a good friend.  On one of the mornings we headed down to Stanley Park around 4:30 AM to see about sunrise.  We walked to the seawall along the Burrard Inlet and worked for a while with the lights of North Van across the water.

Dawn on the Burrard Inlet - 2013 © Christopher Martin

As dawn came in, we moved slowly towards the Lion’s Gate Bridge and I had a lot of fun working with this dominant structure.  I was very happy that they left the bridge lights on right through sunrise.  I used to spend a lot of time exploring the park when I went to school in Vancouver but this was one of only a few times that I have photographed there.  It is a beautiful place to spend time – with or without a camera.

Under the Lion - 2013 © Christopher Martin

With morning came the runners that pile on miles along the pathways year round.  I enjoyed working them into a few photographs before packing up for breakfast.

Stanley Park - morning run 2013 © Christopher Martin


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