Water Fountains at Night
It’s that time of year again. Our annual RiverFestival is in full swing and there are plenty of opportunities for some practicing of night shooting. It’s tricky for me, because it causes me to have to use more settings than I’m use to or know exactly how to use. But what better way for me to get in some practice. The nights are full of people and events, so I plan on making full use of that.
The festival has changed dates this year, and it’s a month later than it normally takes place. I can honestly say I don’t like it at this time of year. It seems like they are trying to shift things and there were some big changes that I have heard a lot of people say they don’t like. So we’ll see if they keep it this way or switch it back to May. It’s been extremely HOT and that doesn’t make it any more fun for me. I almost had heat stroke yesterday. I know I had a moderate case of heat exhaustion. My daughter and I were out walking in the heat in the middle part (also, the hottest part of the day and not the wisest time to be out, but my son wanted to meet up with a friend) of the day. We had umbrellas, but the temp was up around 100 degrees. We were out for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours — a third of that time was indoors in air-conditioning. We both drank plenty of water the whole time we were out walking around.
When we finally stopped for the day, we were driving to get something to eat when I started to feel sick to my stomach and a little headachy. I was struggling with my window (it fell off the track and I was having trouble getting it to roll back up–yes, the air conditioner is broke right now so we do the old-fashioned way and roll our windows down) and was standing in the parking lot, in the shade, and pulling it back in place. I guess I exerted enough energy to wear myself out even more after the sun and heat had already taken a beating out of me. By the time we walked into the lovely air conditioning of the restaurant and I sat down, my legs and even the palms of my hands were sweating profusely. I had to sit and just try to relax with the ice-cold water bottle on the back of my neck and side of my throat to help cool my blood going to my head. Finally, I started to feel normal again, and once I ate a little something and drank some iced tea, I felt much better.
My point of saying all of that is that I won’t be doing much at the RiverFestival until the evening hours when things have cooled down some. As a result, I will be able to do more night shooting in an effort to figure out what is the best way to do it and how to make it all work.
There are some pics I won’t be able to show just yet, because I am entering the photo contest again this year and hope to win more than I did last year. Therefore, I can’t show the photos I plan on entering yet until the contest winners have been announced sometime in July. Here are the results of my first night. They are pics of water fountains in the area. There was another one that was of a larger waterfall, but I couldn’t get those to come out right. I need more practice first! Plus, the wind was blowing like crazy and I had to stand right in front of the fountain to get the pic I wanted, which meant the water was splashing and blowing all over me and my camera. I wasn’t going to risk it and just wanted to wait for a calmer night.
I have to tell you it took me several tries to get the effect I wanted. I had to mess around with my settings and every time I moved to a different area or fountain, the lighting changed depending on where I stood. I need to learn to slow down and just take my time. I didn’t use a tripod. I probably should, but I don’t want to carry one around and I like the challenge of hand-holding my camera and just using what I have–myself and whatever is around me. It forces me to use my settings more and to do a lot of adjusting, which is how I think I want to learn in order to know exactly what my camera does when I use this setting or that, and when I turn the dial this way (up or down in numbers) or that.
I like the way the water droplets in the second one shine like jewels in the air and stand still. And I think I captured the flow of the water at just the right speed in the first one. It’s not too milky and not too stagnate. You can see some of the water droplets captured in a stand-still mode, while the main waterfall flows naturally. And I tried to get the bottom one when the wind was blowing really hard so you could see the water splashing sideways, but I never could get it just right with the time I had. My son was with me and he was getting tired and wanted to go home. I didn’t want to try his patience any more than I already had, because we had a really nice time that evening together. His sister had teamed up with some of her friends and it was just him and I for the night. We walked around, had some good food, and then sat and watched the fireworks before grabbing these shots and heading home.
Stay tuned for more to come of my night shooting practices!