Midwestern Wanderlog

2016-09-22 – Equinox, again

Autumnal equinox today and it shows.  It’s been raining hard off and on the last couple of days, and this morning was cold wet and windy.

Sunrise Stats!
First light: 6:29 AM
Sunrise: 6:59 AM
Daylight: 13 hrs, 7 min

Kind of disappointing, really.  I’m sure the sun will shine through clear skies soon, but for my fall equinox contributory photo to the eventual composite, I’ll have to use the nearest sunshiny day and not the day of the event.  Which means that it won’t be rising true east.  Sigh.  Still, the sun shouldn’t have moved too far in just a day or three.

In the meantime, there are always clouds.  The ones this morning were several different shades of blue and gray, and moving across the skies in different directions.  It’s all but mesmerizing.

So recently I’ve been captivated by some of the photos on a sunrise/sunset Facebook page I frequent.  The objects in the foreground are crystal clear – usually haybales in a mowed field – and above, the colored clouds of sunset make motion-blurs streaking across the sky.  Absolutely stunning.

Looking at it, you know it’s a slow exposure – unless the clouds really are moving just that fast, which is definitely possible, but not real likely.  So it leaves me wondering how many seconds their shutter was open.  And did they use a ND filter to stop the lens down further?  Since sunset was to the right in the particular photograph I was admiring, how did they illuminate the side of the haybale facing away from the sun?  A reflector of some kind?

Makes me want to try to create something similar of my own.  I started experimenting this morning, with a cloud-motion photo over the river.  Didn’t turn out too badly, though I did learn two things; I didn’t have the shutter open long enough, which means I definitely should have used a neutral-density filter to increase the open shutter time; and having sandbags for the tripod legs so there’s no camera vibration in the wind is an absolute must.

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