9 thoughts on “Tree of Night

  1. Wonderful! The lighting is so uniform, without the deep shadows that one might expect, clearly preserving all the details of the branches far up and back into the tree. But the depth is still preserved too. The cool tone also pleasing.

    1. I started shooting these “December Hours” pieces after dark, as a follow up to the series in November which were taken at dusk. For the December group, there’s been three hour-long walks so far.

      On the first night, I decided against traditional tripod time exposures and shot everything at high ISO. The next two nights (which resulted in this picture), I was curious what I could do with my phone camera’s night mode. I have a Samsung S10e but the mode can be found on any current iPhone. They’re a bit proprietary about how it works but it seems to be taking a series of bracketed exposures and seaming them into one image. It helps to brace your phone on something, but I’ve had success without doing that, including on this picture, so the app seems to somehow rectify camera shake.

      On my Android, you access night mode in this way: camera > pro > more > night mode

      The phone file looked good, but I did want to to lighten and even out the shadows. What’s fascinating to me, is how the night sky becomes so full of depth and neutrality when rendered as a dark blue-gray background. These kind of unexpected discoveries is what makes this so much fun (and keeps us young).☺ I’ve got another group of these from last night to post… thanks so much for your comment.

      1. I forgot to mention, that these trees I’ve been photographing are in a village park with a few street lamps, along with some illumination from nearby ballfields. That’s where the light on the trees has been gathered from, and because the white balance of those light sources is warm (and undesirable for what I’m aiming for), I do correct for that later. Hope I haven’t bored you too much with the details…

        1. Not bored at all. I looked at my phone but couldn’t find a night mode setting. I found out that it goes into that mode automatically and that I had used it without knowing…so your explanations are welcomed. Maybe I can use it with purpose now. 🙂 Thanks for taking time to explain it, John.

      2. That is interesting; I don’t use my phone camera very often but they can obviously produce interesting beautiful photographs. I was intrigued by that beautiful dark blue-gray sky. I like it!

  2. I love this and can’t decide whether it’s black and white or color, which is a property that I like.
    Now I’ve read your comments and you certainly didn’t bore me with the details. One thing that popped out was saying the night sky was so full of depth and neutrality. Those two words wouldn’t necessarily go together in my mind but I can see what you mean. Isn’t it good to see that a phone can produce an image that doesn’t feel at all sterile, that has mystery? Thanks for talking about your thoguhts and process.

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