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Kauai Night

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 12 May 2010 in Landscape & Rural.

UPCOMING 2010 WORKSHOPS:

Northern Arizona: Grand Canyon, Upper Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Sedona Photo Workshop - May 3-7, 2010 (Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Redwoods and Mendocino Coast Photo Workshop - June 15-18, 2010 (space available)
Kauai, Hawaii Photo Workshop - July 12-16, 2010 (space available)
Summer Big Sur Photo Workshop - August, 17-20, 2010 (space available)
Arches/Canyonlands Photo Workshop - November 3-7, 2010 (Workshop Sold Out - Waiting List Only)
Winter Big Sur Photo Workshop - Magic Light and The Pfeiffer Beach Arch - January 11-14, 2011 (space available)
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Today I eagerly await the arrival of my new Canon 1DMKIV. As most of you know you know, I still photograph sports and I truly believe this camera will not only adequately handle those chores, but also serve as a second body for my landscape photography.

After discussing the pros and cons of this camera with my various colleagues, I will most certainly employ it when it comes to night photography. Living in California means we are heading into a summer filled with blank blue skies (save for the ocean fog and/or the mountains afternoon thunderstorms). Personally, I start shifting my thinking away from daytime photo sessions to exploring the moonlit landscape.

One of the key areas that both Canon and Nikon engineers have been placing their collective attention on is in lowering high ISO digital noise. Nikon may hold a slight advantage in this category, but I am excited nonetheless to put my new Canon through its high ISO paces.

Today's image was captured this past July on the Garden Isle of Kauai near the Coco Palms Resort (closed after being destroyed by Hurricane Iniki in September 1992) where the Elvis Presley movie Blue Hawaii was filmed. In fact, our rental home was located across the street from where the famed wedding scene was created. These trees are part of the grove, and as my family and I were returning from an evening out, I spotted this full moon poking out from behind these swift moving clouds.

I immediately ran inside and grabbed my camera and tripod and began photographing. Coconut trees (like Saguaro cactus) are generally seen photographed against a sunset sky, so I realized this was an opportunity to try something a bit different with these iconic trees. I knew the clouds would streak just a bit if I went with a slow shutter (this frame is a 2 1/2 second timed-exposure). There was movement in the palm branches but I couldn't control this so I allowed it to add to the vitality of the frame.

With my current Canon 1DsMKIII camera, I feel confident photographing up to an ISO of 800. I will go to 1600 with the knowledge that I will have to employ a noise reduction program in post, but chrominance noise rears its ugly head at anything higher than 1600 ISO. With the new 1DMKIV camera, I am hoping to capture night images with an ISO of 12,800. I will report back once I have had an opportunity to run some serious tests.

BTW - I still have a few openings for this July's Kauai Photo Workshop. Please send me an email if you are interested. We will spend five days (and a night or two) photographing what I feel is the most beautiful of all the Hawaiian Islands!

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 5/2 seconds F/2.8 ISO 800 24 mm

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