Just because the sun is setting and the golden light is fading does not mean your photography has to end. As one becomes interested in photography oftentimes one of the first things to learn is how to do long exposure night photography. Night photography is a simple way to examine familiar subjects in a different light, no pun intended. It is easy to learn, just pick up a quality tripod and in the long dark nights of the winter it is a great way to get out, get shooting and relax after a busy day. Long exposure night photography can be daunting for some, but it is fairly simple and after some practice is easy to pick up. Below is the very first long exposure photo I took at night, with the last fading rays of the sun lighting the clouds.
I took it at f5.6 and exposed for 3 seconds 100 ISO. The first instinct of many photographers who want greater depth of field in their night shots for landscapes such as this is to just use the smallest aperture possible since they are already using a tripod, however it is important to remember this can actually lead to a loss in sharpness, since most lenses are actually sharpest around f8. While film is generally great for learning photography, digital can be useful in this case to learn the affects of different light levels and various settings. If you take long exposures with film another thing to remember is reciprocity failure, explained here at the Film Photography Podcast website. http://filmphotographyproject.com/content/howto/2011/10/what-reciprocity-failure There are a great number of different sorts of lighting, desired effects and goals, for a good guide to these various night light situations check out this site. http://www.johnharveyphoto.com/LearnNight/index.html The most important thing to do is to get out and practice, and before long it will become second nature!
Taken at f8 for 10 seconds 400 ISO.
The Canon Camera Company made rangefinder cameras from 1933 to 1968, and along the way created made many different models with innovations that would both ensure their survival to this day and help further the industry. I have had a passion for using vintage cameras of all types for years, but for the dozens of different cameras and all the various styles I’ve owned, my Canon III from 1951 is the only one I’ve always kept, and it holds a special meaning to me. This camera was first purchased by my grandfather during the Korean War, and he would continue to use it for decades to come, until he gave it to me when I was beginning to show an interest in photography as a child. When he bought the camera it cost quite a lot, about three months of his salary, but as a soldier in the field there was little else to do with money. Thus, when a friend went on leave to Japan, my grandfather asked him to get him a good new camera. This story is not unique, many Canon cameras, as well as other Japanese companies’ offerings, were bought by soldiers on leave during the occupation of Japan and the Korean War. Today the camera looks almost as good as it did then, despite decades of use care and maintenance have kept it in great order, and it works beautifully. These cameras’ basic design is a copy of the famous German Leica, with some small changes and improvements. To learn more about Canon history check out their fantastic history site, at http://www.canon.com/camera-museum/index.html .
To use these cameras there are a few good tips to know. Firstly, such an old camera likely needs to be cleaned or serviced to give optimum results. Once it is ready to use the first thing to do is load the film, which if one is unfamiliar with these cameras can be quite a hassle. When these cameras were made the leader of the film was much longer than on modern film, and for proper loading you will need to cut the film to have about a 4 inch (10cm) leader for proper advance. There are special cutters made to do this, or you could carefully use scissors. I like to keep a small Swiss army knife with scissors in my camera bag in case I need to cut film while out shooting. Once the film is cut, loaded and wound onto the spool check that there is tension between the film rewind and advance knobs. To learn more about the basic function of these cameras check out the free instruction manuals at http://www.butkus.org/chinon/canon.htm . There will soon be more to come on using these great old cameras!
A photo taken by my grandfather in Japan with his new Canon III