Rodney Campbell's Blog

Moonlit Landscapes…

by on Oct.18, 2014, under Life, Photography

I’ve not shot moonlit landscapes at night very often and truth be told I wasn’t actually intending to this night anyway…

We were all away up on the mid north coast of New South wales near Coffs Harbour for a family get together on my wifes side. Before heading up there I did a little checking on Google Maps around the area to see if there was any interesting looking coastline to shoot whilst I was there (assuming I got the approval from SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) :). Actually my wife was VERY accommodating – allowing two rece’s two sunrises and one night shoot during our trip away.

I liked the look of some potential rocky candidates I found on maps and it must have been fate because when I asked my wife where we were staying it turned out to be the closest place to this location – Bonus!!

In fact it ended up being very close walking distance from our accommodation to here – literally a few hundred metres from our door.

So soon after arriving there I went for a bit of a walk during the day to check the place out and the rock formations were excellent as were the really interesting wind swept rock plates next to the sea. In fact this place must get lots of sandy winds because of the way the rocks were worn.

That night after dinner I headed out with the intention of shooting star trails. I don’t get into dark skies areas very often so I wanted to capitalise on my opportunities. The skies had been looking good all afternoon (no clouds) so I was hopeful.

Unfortunately what I hadn’t counted on was the moon was about half full and high in the sky by the time I got here and the clouds were rolling in… Stars were off the menu…

Still I was here and never one to waste an opportunity for a shoot I switched to shooting some moonlit landscapes (with a little light painting thrown in)…

A five (5) minute exposure at ISO 400 and f/5.6 turns the scene from night to day with the interesting shapes of Wellington Rock set sharply against the night sky. I light painted the two rocks with a high powered zoomable torch during the long exposure.

Seeking Day or Night

Seeking Day or Night

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 308 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

Moving closer to the rocks and getting much closer to one of the inlets of water I spied some fantastic green moss covered rocks just below getting washed by the waves rolling back and forth in front of me.

Moonlit Greens

Moonlit Greens

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 367 sec at f/5.6, ISO 400

In a fit of madness perhaps I decided to climb up on top of the landside rock and shoot southward towards the seaward rock. It’s probably lucky it was dark so I couldn’t see how precarious this might have been 🙂

Notice that swirl of star movement in this six (6) minute exposure – this gave me all sorts of ideas…

Steadfast Swirl

Steadfast Swirl

NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 17 mm, 367 sec at f/5, ISO 250

Lastly – it’s 10PM and I’m figuring I’d pack up soon, time for a selfie before I go… There was this fantastic looking arrow cloud just pointing down into the gap between the two rocks thrusting up out of the rock plate so I setup a shot to line things up with this sweet little rock pool at the bottom of frame. I stood as still as I could for the 30 second exposure with my headlamp shooting up into the sky and wirelessly triggered the shot from where I’m standing (thank god for great technology!). I also did a second exposure where I light painted the little pool at the bottom which thankfully had these nice green weeds in there. Blending the two in post and voila…



NIKON D600 + 16.0-35.0 mm f/4.0 @ 16 mm, 31 sec at f/4, ISO 1600

Comments are closed.

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!

Copyright © 2015 Rodney Campbell

Images contained on this web site may not be used or reproduced in any way without prior permission.