Night time

The beginning of the night is no reason to leave the camera unused. It's no reason either to abuse the flash! In fact, a flash is more useful during daytime than in the night: In the day it can light up harsh shadows, while in the night it creates them! The following photos are flashless.


A time exposure of a minute or so of the late evening sky, seen through the dome slit of a telescope at the La Silla Observatory. The only difference between day and night is the amount of available light. The colors are the same, in spite of widespread contrary perception! Note the slightly elongated stars.

Moonlit observatory

This was shot with moonlight, using a polarizer to darken the sky, which works just as well as with the sun. The exposure is 20 minutes at f/5.6. Note the car taillight streaking along the road and the stars streaking in the sky!

Celestial South Pole

A 45 minute exposure showing the sky's south pole behind an Intelsat antenna, in a very dark night. The reddish color happens because of uncompensated reciprocity error. At 45 minutes, even Fuji Provia 100F is far out of its reciprocity range!

Iridium flare

The Iridium satellites have very polished and precisely oriented antennas. This allows to compute at exactly which time one of these satellites will reflect sunlight to the precise spot on earth where you are. At the calculated place and time, the satellite suddenly shows up as a small spot of light, within seconds grows to such strength that you can read by its light, moves along the sky and then dims down and vanishes. This is the impression such a flare leaves on film, against a 3-minute exposure of the stars behind it.
 Note the colors of the stars! They are NOT all white!

Burning mountain

What looks like a flame coming from the crater of Villarica Volcano is the smoke plume, lit from below by incandescent magma. This time exposure was made with a long lens from a boat, floating on the lake! You really need absolutely quiet waters for that!

Gran Hotel Antofagasta

Just an example of what can be done by simply using existing light instead of flash.

Sleeping Church

La Serena University

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