Searching for natural darkness

Fujifilm xpro-2, ISO 250, FL 50mm, 1/250 sec @ f/8

“When I lie back and close my eyes, this farthest lip of beach right next to the end of the ocean feels like being up close to an enormous breathing being, the bass drum surf thump reverberating through the sand. Living out here with no lights, alone, you would indeed become sensitive to seasons, rhythms, weather, sounds- right up next to the sea, right up under the sky, like lying close to a lover’s skin to hear blood and breath and heartbeat.”
Paul Bogard, The End of Night: Searching for Natural Darkness in an Age of Artificial Light

Fire in the sky

Fujifilm X-Pro2, ISO 5000, FL 50 mm, 1/60 sec @ f/3.6

The fire in the sky smolders in the breaking waves.

The dark ash of the ocean cradles the blaze.

Night is not falling, it’s dying in a firestorm.

Diana Davidson

Lightning

Fujifilm X-Pro2, ISO 400, FL 15 mm, 30 s @ f/8

 

The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

 

Vik, Iceland

Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 6400, FL 55 mm, 1/8 sec @ f/10

Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 6400, FL 55 mm, 1/8 sec @ f/10

Vík í Mýrdal is located in southern Iceland.  It is most known for the sea stacks located off it’s black volcanic sand beaches.  The legend is that the imposing basalt Reynisdrangar sea stacks located not far from the surf’s edge are trolls that were turned to stone when they attempted to plunder an anchored schooner.  In the early morning dawn hours, I was with a group of photographers who went to the beach to photograph the sea stacks.  But what caught our eye was the village church that was warmly lit beautifully against the craggy mountain cliffs behind it.  The wind was horrific and I was struggling to capture this image.  My travel tripod, while convenient for increasingly restrictive airline travel,  was just not up to the demands of the Icelandic wind.  My only recourse was to shoot with the highest ISO my camera could deliver and so, that is what I did.  I also had to hand hold the camera with a relatively long exposure time of 1/8 second.  As a consequence, my image was not as sharp as I would have liked and it is noisier than I would have liked.  Nonetheless, shortly after this image was taken, the floodlit church went black as the village became bathed in early sunrise light and so I considered myself lucky to have captured the image and to have seen it for myself.

aurora borealis, ski land, fairbanks, alaska

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1000, FL 14 mm, 15 sec at f/2.8

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1000, FL 14 mm, 15 sec at f/2.8

aurora borealis, murphy’s dome, fairbanks, alaska

canon 1ds Mark 3, ISO 800, FL 14 mm, 15 sec @ f/2.8

canon 1ds Mark 3, ISO 800, FL 14 mm, 15 sec @ f/2.8

aurora borealis, ski land, fairbanks, alaska

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1000, FL 14 mm, 25 sec @ f/2.8

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1000, FL 14 mm, 25 sec @ f/2.8

aurora borealis, chena hot springs, alaska

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1600, FL 15 mm, 20 sec @ f/2.8

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 1600, FL 15 mm, 20 sec @ f/2.8

snow track down the mountain, aurora borealis, chena hot springs, alaska

canon 1ds mark 3, iso 1600, FL 15 mm, 25 sec @ f/2.8

canon 1ds mark 3, iso 1600, FL 15 mm, 25 sec @ f/2.8

night sky and yurt, chena hot springs, alaska

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 400, FL 14 mm, 30 sec @ f/2.8

canon 1ds mark 3, ISO 400, FL 14 mm, 30 sec @ f/2.8