Mini Challenge #366 -- Life After Dark

slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,190 Major grins
edited February 24, 2024 in The Dgrin Challenges

I really had to wrack my brain for a topic for this mini! I've always envied those photographers who manage to get awesome photos at night--whether it's fireworks, milky way or star shots, downtown skylines, or just whatever is of interest after dark. I have made some attempts over the years to figure this out, but I always fall short of anything stellar. What I would LOVE to see in this mini is your awesome after dark photos (and maybe a short how-to for the rest of us to learn from). I don't care what the subject or scenery is--fireworks, milky way, cityscapes, bridges, or any after-dark events you photographed. Extra points for a little instruction or tips that you pass along.

I am going to have this mini go for slightly over 3 weeks to end on Sunday, March 17th at 6 pm Central Daylight Time (since I think the time changes in early March). I hope that gives everyone some time. Please make this hard for me to judge!

If you need a reminder, the rules are at this link:

Here are some of my examples. I've already said I'm still trying to figure this out, so none of these are of the caliber I would like to share, but I hope it gives you some inspiration. :)

  1. Milky Way at Zion National Park -- this was shot with my Canon 5D MKIII and my Canon 24-70 lens, f2.8, 25 second exposure, ISO 6400.

  2. Paul McCartney at the ACL Festival in 2018. I actually shot this with my cell phone, so no real skill involved.

  3. Marching Band's Halftime Performance -- For the last 14-15 years, I have been photographing a local high school's marching band during football season. I have so many examples from band kids at night, but will just post a couple. The biggest key to these is using as fast a shutter speed as you can because these kids are moving (usually fairly quickly!) For this one, I used my Canon 5D MKIII with my Canon 70-200 mm lens at 200mm, f4, 1/200 shutter speed, and ISO 2500.

Another night-time marching band shot. This one same settings as above, but f5 and ISO 3200.

  1. The Moon -- I shot this at a football game. I had my Canon 5D MKIII and a Canon 100-400mm lens. This was zoomed to 400 mm, f8, 1/200, and ISO 200. Also handheld!

Alas, I have no fireworks images that aren't blurry and I can't find my city skylines. I'll add them later if I find them.

I hope to see lots of entries for this one!

Sherry Pollett


  • grandmaRgrandmaR Registered Users Posts: 1,943 Major grins
    edited February 29, 2024

    I do not have any really good after dark images - no good photos of the moon or anything like that. i do have the photo I took for a Girl Scout photography badge in the late 40s or early50s. It shows the stars movements in an hour exposure with a pinhole camera. What we did was put the camera down on the ground and wait an hour. My mother had to get the car dealers to turn off their aceteylene spotlights that were sweeping the sky for the photos to turn out. There is a fold on the print right in the middle, but you can get the idea.

    1 Star trails

    2, Moon from a river cruise. I left my curtains open so that when the sun rose I would wake up. I woke up to a bright light... but it was the moon. So I took a photo with my phone and went back to sleep.

    1. Fireworks - I did get some fireworks shots from a Disney cruise
    “" adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." G.K. Chesterton”
  • jwearjwear Registered Users Posts: 8,005 Major grins

    It's not total

    Jeff W

  • jwearjwear Registered Users Posts: 8,005 Major grins

    I don't know how the arrow got on the shot ? ON the phone posting is ? If it can be removed will try to repost

    Jeff W

  • shawncshawnc Registered Users Posts: 675 Major grins

    I have a few "Life after Dark" shots I can share.
    The data on the shots are not easily accessible.
    Fireworks in Durango Colorado

    Frozen Rainbow Lake in Arizona, Starry Nite.

    Wedding in Scottsdale, Arizona
    The light streaks were done with a flashlight on a long exposure.

  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,190 Major grins

    Thanks for getting the party started Grandma, Jeff, and Shawn. Love them!

    Still plenty of time for more entries!

    Sherry P.

  • sapphire73sapphire73 Registered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 1,944 moderator

    Great theme for a mini! I went back through my photos and found a few to share.

    1) Maroon Bells Wilderness Before Sunrise

    2) Bridge in Lyon, France

    3) A Tractor in the Rice Festival in Arles, France

    Not an entry:
    Beach in Rio after Dark

  • bfluegiebfluegie Registered Users Posts: 737 Major grins

    Great topic, Sherry... and another type of photography I need to do more of... These can't compare to what has been posted so far, but it's always fun to participate.

    1. Moon and three planets (Jupiter, Venus, and Mars)

      Taken at Hazel Mountain Overlook in Shenandoah National Park. Mars is pretty hard to see, and somehow I missed Saturn altogether. The orange glow is light pollution. Sunrise was still a few hours away.

    2. Waning quarter moon

    3. Bellagio

  • sarasphotossarasphotos Registered Users Posts: 3,826 Major grins

    Great theme and so far great entries. Am still digging through possibles...

  • sarasphotossarasphotos Registered Users Posts: 3,826 Major grins

    I agree with @bfluegie - the other entries have severely humbled me but I'll post nonetheless!

    1) A foggy October evening in Manhattan (Taken in 2011 with an Olympus XZ-1 that I owned for a couple of years. Hand-held, ISO 1000, 1/50 sec.)

    2)Lake Starnberg at midnight. I was at a birthday party at a lakefront restaurant and stepped out for a breath of fresh air. The moon was full and I balanced my camera on a pier and set the self-timer. f2.5, 5 sec., ISO-800. Panasonic G-81, Lumix 20mm 1.7 lens)

    3) Evening in Torri del Benaco (Lake Garda), Italy. Panasonic G-81 with 14-140 zoom. Sat the camera on the sea wall. ISO 800, f5, .6 sec.

  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,190 Major grins

    Oooohhhhh, I love your entries Gretchen, Barbara, and Sara!

    Keep them coming everyone. Still plenty of time to enter!

    Sherry P.

  • GSPePGSPeP Registered Users Posts: 3,741 Major grins

    1) Antwerp, Town hall


    2) Statue of Gerardus Mercator (cartographer)


    3) Cologne, Germany

  • slpollettslpollett Registered Users Posts: 1,190 Major grins

    This mini is now closed.

    Thanks to all who entered. I've noticed several photos that I really love, so it's going to be hard to decide the winner. I just got back from a trip back home (and I'm exhausted), so I will take a hard look at the entries tomorrow and get the winners posted by Tuesday.

    Sherry P.

Sign In or Register to comment.