We went to the lighting ceremony in Leavenworth, WA this past weekend to see the lighting ceremony. After the ceremony it started to snow and the city got a beautiful coating of snow so I decided to try and capture the moment. The idea was to use a long exposure to get the sense of movement or motion in the photo.
- Canon 5D Mark II Camera
- Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS Lens
The Set Up:
- I knew I wanted to capture the feeling of movement in the scene, so it would require a long exposure. Depending on the look you want and how fast the objects are moving, you shutter speed will vary. I knew I wanted to keep the noise to a minimum, so I used a very low ISO as well. I usually shoot in Aperture Priority (Av) mode, so I found myself just switching the aperture to achieve the desired shutter speed I wanted, but it would have been fine to use Shutter Priority (Tv) mode as well.
- The settings for this photo ended up being the following: ISO 50 (ISO expansion needs to be enabled in the menu settings), focal length set to 24mm, f stop was f/10, and the exposure was 6.0 seconds.
- I almost always shoot in raw+jpeg because the raw file is better for editing, and white balance is tough to nail on night exposures with street lighting.
- Ideally I would have used a remote shutter release for long exposures to minimize potential camera shake, but it was cold and I was in a hurry so what I did was enabled mirror lockup from the menu settings and used the 2 second self timer function.
The Post Processing:
- The first thing I did was rotate the image a little. When I captured the image, it wasn’t quite straight so I had to rotate the image -3.33 degrees.
- I bumped up the exposure +.29
- As I mentioned before, the white balance is tough to get on night scenes with street lights, and the auto white balance was off a bit. I decreased the Temperature -617K to a final Temperature of 2833K
- In the Tone Curve, I increased the “Lights” value to +26
- For the blog post, I exported to resize the long edge to 550 pixels with sharpening set for “screen” and amount set to “high”.