2009 Ottawa Flickr Group outing to Upper Canada Village, Morrisburg, Ontario
Although there was a bit of a line-up at the admission wicket when we arrived, a member of our group had arrived earlier and purchased a batch of tickets for the group so only a small number of the group needed to stay in the line to get tickets. The temperature was not all that cold during the day but as the sun set, the cold air off of the expanse of the St. Lawrence River certainly made for some cold fingers pretty quickly especially when gloves had to be taken off to manipulate the tripod or the camera controls.
There were plenty of lights and plenty of angles to choose from but witht he number of people wandering up and down the roadways it was sometimes difficult to get a photo without someone else in the picture. Since most of the people using tripods were members fo our group, it was a bit tough to complain though :-).
Equipment for night photography:
Camera – Any camera will do but a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) provides more options.
Lens – Any lens will do but for most digital cameras a wide angle lens in the 17-35mm range is likely optimal for capturing the whole scene. At Upper Canada Village, a mid-range telephoto (100mm – 200mm) is useful for taking shots of the church and other structures from some of the vantage points across the open field.
Tripod – Very difficult to get crisp clear shots without a tripod although some of the newer point and shoot cameras have excellent image stabilization characteristics which will compensate for some fo the inevitable movement in long time-frame exposures.
Flashlight – Useful to use to see where you are going if you are off of the beaten path or if you drop a black camera part. Also helpful to use to see the camera settings if they are not well lit.
Extra battery – In Canadian winter weather, battery power fades as the temperature declines, so it is helpful to have a back-up battery supply.
Taking the shot:
1) Look around for the shot that you like.
2) Set up tripod on stable foundation (sometimes tough to do in snow)
3) Attach camera
4) Use mirror-up setting if available.
5) Use timer or remote release to trigger the shutter
6) Check exposure and make adjustments and take shot again – You are normally exposing for the lights rather than the surroundings so, therefore, are normally exposing for a black sky but might like to increase exposure a bit if you want a bit of the reflection off of the foreground or the surroundings.
To see more Upper Canada Village lights see: 2010 Upper Canada Village Christmas lights