Christmas Meadows at Night

This was an experimental shot that I ended up liking. While at Christmas Meadows in the Uinta Mountains of Utah, I decided that the moonlit night was looking pretty good for an attempt at some night photography. I haven’t done much night photography (I keep telling myself that I should make it more of a focus but I’ve yet to actually do so) and figured the shot would be fun to attempt, despite my reluctance to leave the comfort of my chair by the campfire.


The shot was about a seven minute exposure utilizing my wired remote to keep the shutter open. You’d be surprised how long seven minutes can seem while standing in the cold and periodically checking one’s watch. Anyway, I had taken several previous shots in order to get the exposure right, eventually winding up with the seven minute exposure you see here. One of the challenges associated with long exposures like this is hot pixels as the digital sensor gets warm. Balancing the need for a long exposure with the potential of hot pixels is, I found, an important consideration for night photography and I have a new found respect for photographers taking excellent night shots. It’s tough to take mediocre shots like mine, let alone take excellent shots like I see elsewhere.

Lastly, the other difficulty with night photography that I hadn’t considered is how to properly focus the shot. It’s tougher than one would expect when you can’t make out details more than a few feet away. I ended up having to depend upon the lens markings to determine proper focus so, if you are considering purchasing a lens without focus markings – especially infinity – I’d highly recommend you get a lens with focus markings if you think you may ever do night photography.

Christmas Meadows, Utah at night