Lake house under the stars

February 24, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

One of the advantages of having so much stunning landscape close to home is the opportunity to keep going back to the same spots to shoot them at different seasons, in different light and at different times of day.  The 'cottage on the lake' at Lissanoure has become one of my favourites.  Having captured Gallows Hill under the stars I wondered what difference shooting the stars across the lake might make. Last Monday was a beautiful clear (but cold) night so I stopped off by the lake for a short time just before midnight.  A half-moon cast its light across the lake from directly behind me, helping to pick out the branches and twigs of the trees as well as providing a spill of light on the grass and rushes at the water's edge.  Fortunately during the entire time I was there not a single car came by so I had no problems with car headlights.

Lissanoure 2 It was only when checking the screen on my camera that I realised that the lake was reflecting the tungsten glow from (presumably) the security lighting behind the cottage.  This was an unexpected bonus.  I 'painted' a touch of torchlight on the foreground for the first shot but not for the others.

For the next photo I zoomed in a little to take out the tree on the left.

Finally I changed position and zoomed in further to make the cottage larger and more central in the frame, increasing also the ratio of the lake to the rest of the photo.

For those interested in the more technical aspects, the moon providing sufficient light to allow for an exposure time of 15 seconds which had the effect of somewhat reducing the 'star trail' effect long exposures cause.  I shot at ISO 3200 at f4.5 (should have been f4), on a 16-35mm lens.  Contrast was added in Lightroom with some adjustment to white balance.  Reflecting on it now I would probably increase exposure time to 20 seconds and borrow a faster lens to shoot with a 2.8 aperture.  But it was fun to do!


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