Photo Essay by Josh Haas: Nightscapes
This very special image took hundreds of miles in travel, days of scouting, hours throughout the night shooting, and hours of post-processing. This makes it an ‘earned’ image in my book. It’s a classic long exposure but instead of just leaving the shutter open for 30 minutes, I created this using multiple stacked exposures instead. This was because the town of Sedona was close enough that in a super long exposure, the light pollution would’ve ruined the image. The first shot was taken about 45 minutes after sunset when there was still enough ambient light to illuminate the rocky ridge in the foreground. After that, I had to leave my gear in place and wait a couple hours until it was dark enough to begin taking the 30 second exposures one after another. I did this for another 90 minutes until I was sure I had a sizable group of images without plane lights and other problems to create a nice star trail image. Finally, the shooting was complete. On the plane ride home at an altitude of 30,000 feet, several interested people on the flight watched as the final image was created. A night image was my goal weeks before heading to Arizona for this trip and I’m excited to say we made it happen.
Camera Body & Lens- Canon 1D Mark III, 24-70mm f2.8 lens
Shutter Speed- Multiple 30sec exposures, stacked
Lightning with a Purple Hue:
After years of waiting for the perfect storm to photograph, it was finally here. The storm has to be just right to make lightning photography work and this one was perfect. Using an intervalometer, I set up underneath my deck and began shooting. After setting my exposure settings, focus and composition the intervalometer took over to kick off the exposures one after another while I retreated inside where it was safe. This was a great compromise that made my wife happy. =) Safety has to be number one in storm photography and this device sure makes it safe. While inside, I waited until the rain was close enough that it would compromise any good images and then retrieved my gear. After loading the 100+ images, I had one that turned out great (and this one is it!) The purple sky, tree line and lighting all work together to make this a nice image.
Camera Body & Lens- Canon Rebel T2i, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens
Shutter Speed- 20sec
Lake Superior Lightning:
A more recent image, this was taken on the south shores of Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After a day of shooting waterfalls the lighting was drab that evening so I figured my shooting was done for the day. It was about that time I began to hear distant thunder and decided to make the trek out to the beach to see what was happening. As a distant storm approached I set up and waited. The evening light dwindled and the storm approached; a hole in the clouds opened up at the perfect time show-casing an orange sky lit by the fading sun. The lighting popped and all I needed was a rock star of a lightning bolt to finish off the scape. Just before the rain began my wishes paid off and I got my lightning. To create this image I set my aperture, ISO and then used 6 second exposures over and over until the right lightning appeared in the sky (notice my stopped down aperture of f13 to keep too much light from hitting the sensor). As the sky becomes darker, this technique gets easier as you can use longer exposures but because I was shooting before dark, I had to stop down my aperture and could only use 6 second exposures without blowing out the images.
Camera Body & Lens- Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-70mm f2.8 lens
Shutter Speed- 6sec
Star-filled Night with Space Station:
This image is the result of a family member contacting me about some action I might be interested in. The International Space Station was set to pass by our night sky that night. At the time, I was still living in the city where light pollution would ruin the image so I grabbed my gear and headed out in the country in search of a spot. I ended up on a golf course and struggled to find a decent spot with enough time to get set up in time. I was able to make it work and record the image with the International Space Station streaking across the sky. For all of you photographers out there, it pays to spread the word and build a base of people that can give you tips on where possible action may be. I’ve captured several images this way and had I not been tipped off, the images would not exist today.
Camera Body & Lens- Canon 1D Mark II, Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 lens
Shutter Speed- 30sec
To see more of Josh’s work, get tips on photography, or to sign up for workshops and trips please visit www.glancesatnature.com.