Explorations in night-time photography

brownie-cameraI got my very first camera when I was about 5. It was a Kodak Brownie – the Instamatic of it’s day. It was an automatic with no lens to adjust – no f-stops. Just point and click.

I got my first digital camera a little more than a year ago, an Olympus. It’s also pretty much an automatic. I’ve had a lot of fun, experimenting and trying out the different features. I usually take photos in the out-of-doors: nature, birds, critters and flowers. As I have gotten comfortable with this camera, I’ve discovered that though the macro lens is great for flower and insect close-ups,


the zoom lens: not as good. grosbeak-orig

I don’t feel skilled enough yet to manipulate the pictures on the computer. Still, it’s fun to try to overcome the glitches and take photos that are scenic and beautiful…trying to get a professional look, to create an emotion or tell a story.

Every now and then I’ve attempted to capture images at night. I really dislike flash photography which washes everything out but am equally frustrated with my shots using the existing light. The camera, in its effort to gather in enough light to see the subject will often take in too much light and the image looks like it was taken during an overcast day;

p1110047 p1110053

when I see icicles reflected in the warm yellow light of a bedroom window the image I end up with shows a white light instead.


Then, when I’m trying to capture a snowy night under the white street lights, the light comes out yellow.

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Then there is the added frustration of the aperture being open so long, that the  picture comes out blurry.

 p1110049 I’m not ready to carry around a tripod in order to get a clear shot.

Of all my attempts, I think I like the pictures I’ve taken of the snow at dusk. Everything tends to come out blue which gives the picture a cold look.

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I have tried to photograph the full moon on a cold, clear night. When others shoot the moon at night using a digital camera, everything is sharp – you can see the craters. My clear night with the moon turns into a bright, indistinct ball of light.


Still, every now and then, something will come out right, or at least interesting to look at, even if it doesn’t quite portray the scene as I see it. Go ahead and click on the photos for a closer view.

 pc200803 p1190085 p1190079 pc070734

My current favorite will have to wait for tomorrow, Wednesday…Wordless Wednesday.


About Jill-O

a girl who likes lakes, trees and critters; making an attempt at living the artistic life.
This entry was posted in nature, photos, winter and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Explorations in night-time photography

  1. cherry says:

    I love them all ! she says while shivering …lol
    going to get a cup of hot tea and come back to look some more..

  2. RobinL says:

    Oh Jill, I can really relate to all of this! I know so little about photography, and since I started this blog I’ve been trying to learn the ins and outs of my little camera. I don’t need a photography class, I need a class in simply using my own camera! Like you, I can do macro shots fairly well, but if the subject is tiny, it will only rarely focus in well enough. And zoom shots, yuck. Nothing but blur. What is the purpose of being able to zoom in if all is blurry, no matter how still you hold it? And don’t get me started on my indoor flash shots. Too bright!

  3. jellyfishbay says:

    Thanks for visiting my wintery post.
    Cherry, I also got cold just posting the pictures. I’m heading for a hot cocoa.
    Robin, I feel as though you are reading my thoughts. For most of my adult life I used a 35mm Canon and I think I was pretty good at taking pictures. I’m out of my element with the digital cameras but I am determined to persevere.

  4. tina says:

    I think you take lovely photos. I do know that pain of blurry pictures at night. No matter what I do it is always blurry. Might be a tripod time:)

  5. jellyfishbay says:

    Thank you so much. I tend to think that sometimes I’m just lucky. My Dad, who was a very good photographer, used to tell me that he could take a whole roll of film in order to get three or four good pictures. It just takes a lot of practice. Luckily, all the garden blogs I visit inspire me to keep trying.

  6. Sue says:

    If I hadn’t read what you wrote, I would have commented on what great pics you took. I think we are own worse critics, or critics of our cameras. I still think the pics are great, and I did shiver when I saw the bluish ones.

  7. jellyfishbay says:

    It’s true, I am pretty critical, especially when I look at all the beautiful photos I see on the other garden blogs. I think part of the frustration is the camera lens can’t see exactly what I see, so when I take a shot, it looks different. I really appreciate your positive comments, I think I must be on the right track.

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