After Sunset

The clock tower building, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Taken around an hour after sunset on a particularly rainy night, with the River Leith in flood (foreground, not visible). Olympus OM-D, Olympus 12-50mm kit zoom.
The clock tower building, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Taken around an hour after sunset on a particularly rainy night, with the River Leith in flood (foreground, not visible). Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus 12-50mm kit zoom.

Bitterly cold nights, pacing in circles behind a tripod mounted camera, earnestly attempting to keep my rapidly vaporising breath from wafting across and fogging the lens. Ah, the joys of photography after sunset.

Shop display on Princes St. shortly after midnight. Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 with Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom.
Shop display on Princes St. shortly after midnight. Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 with Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom.

Night-time photography has long been an interest, though one I explore infrequently. There’s the time (exposures sometimes of minutes versus fractions of a second), the hazards (I’ve had too many near misses on steep pathways…) and the photo itself (I like to see what I’m taking before I’ve taken it). It’s not all bad, though. With the right equipment (coat, gloves, scarf, torch, binoculars, flask of tea, book), it can be quite a relaxing experience, especially if near the birdsong of woodland or lapping waves of coastline.

Short section of a star trail. Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus 12-50mm kit zoom.
Short star trail. Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus 12-50mm kit zoom.

If you ever get the chance, give night photography a try. Sure, there are frustrations with it. But, they’re worth tackling or adjusting to for the results. From starry coastlines bathed in moonlight to the electric glow of a nocturnal cityscape, there’s something quite enthralling and wonderful to discover, if only you seek it out.

Full moon. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1, Soligor 70-220 for Olympus OM (film camera) using adapter.
Full moon. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1, Soligor 70-220 f/3.5 for Olympus OM (film camera) using adapter.
St. Clair beach, looking towards St. Kilda Beach. Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus 17mm f/2.8.
St. Clair beach, looking towards St. Kilda Beach. Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus OM-D E-M5, Olympus 17mm f/2.8.
Cenotraph, Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 with Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom.
Cenotaph, Dunedin, New Zealand. Olympus PEN Mini E-PM1 with Olympus 14-42mm kit zoom.
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