The affogato made me do it

It’s 2am, zero degrees and I am out in my back yard, with too much caffeine on board, but taking advantage of the crystal clear night and almost no wind. I’ve changed the scale and distance from my subject and have discovered my puny torch is impotent. Ransacking the house and garage for all available light sources, it was me, a koala looking for a date, a lead-footed wallaby, a wombat crashing around, a headlight, and two torches. My first challenge: avoid my visible breath drifting across the camera lens mid-capture.

The second biggest challenge was actually getting enough light to focus on the subject matter. After an hour, I had a blast of inspiration. My studio lights. 600w of joy in each one, not exactly fit for purpose, but all sorts of things seem reasonable in the wee hours. Standing with one on my shoulder pointing at the trees, and risking electrocution (my lecturers warnings ringing in my ears!)  it still wasn’t enough. I stuck it out, blindly focussing until my fingers ceased operating, and nose would not stop streaming. Tomorrow, you will find me shopping in the industrial floodlight department.

Two views of the same scene; the first with the puny torch collection, the second with the studio light, giving a lot more filled-in detail.


If I fixed the colour balance, to compensate for the light temperature, these would be bluer in appearance. I prefer the warm result out of the camera.

3 Comments on “The affogato made me do it”

  1. Christine says:

    Hi Nina, the stronger light source certainly makes the images dramatic and colourful. It is amazing when you consider you can still see the stars… I sort of like the “spooky” effects of the smaller light sources too. Of course the quick burst of light freezes all movements… Like the way you have framed the sky as well. Christine

  2. Nina Williams says:

    Thanks! Yes, I do have a fondness for that skeletal look of the ones with less fill-in. But I love the flattened perspective of the other. You can even see a shadow behind the central gum in image number 2. I see a portable battery pack and a whole new realm of lighting in my future! I see movie sets! I see the prado filled to the gunwales! I see me with massive pecs and biceps from dragging it all around!

  3. Suz says:

    These are gorgeous as usual. Sx

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