Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Night on The Indian River

Behind my dad's condo here in Vero Beach runs the Indian River. By day, the Indian River is a superhighway for both humans and wildlife. At night, however, it's as tranquil as a monastery. After a long day spent dealing with our family situation, I wandered out through the jungle to an old dock and experimented with some time exposures using the D700. These were shot looking west, toward the mainland. Each shot was about 8 minutes, at ISO 200.

I suspect the process was more profound than the results. As I was shooting, a mother Barred owl took her 2 chicks out for hunting lessons, "hooting" back and forth from the telephone line beside the dock, and a large pod of porpoise passed by, their exhales echoing across the water, so clear in the still night they sounded like they were whispering in my ear.

Technically, the D700 did an OK job. I found a lot of "hot" pixels, which may be a result of long time exposures on the Nikon sensor. Also, I got more barrel distortion with this Nikon 17-35/ 2.8 lens than I would have liked. I'll have to look into that. But, you know, spiritually, it was a complete success.



  1. Another great report! Keep 'em coming.
    I get my nature fix vicariously through you.

  2. I've gotten a bunch of emails, asking me what time of night this was, and how much I tweaked or "stepped on" the images.

    The answers:

    Midnight, and, not too much tweaking, but some.

    I adjusted the exposure very slightly, pushed the "Clarity" 20% and pushed the "Vibrance" 20%. Also quite a bit of healing tool to deal with hot pixels, which, as I've learned, are a common issue with long exposures and digital sensors.

    Finally, I used "Noise Ninja" to handle the overall picture noise for a final print size of 24 x 36 inches.

    These exposures are 8-10 minutes.