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Moonlit Nights

Skiing Coopers Rock by Moonlight

Moonlit Nights; Coopers; Rock; Winter; cross; country; skiing; Moonlight; West; Virginia; photo; Gabe; DeWitt; March; 2015; Adventure Photography; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Places; Seasons; Snow; Snow Day; West Virginia; Winter; by Gabe DeWitt

There was no need for a headlamp last night. The almost full moon lit the trail out to Coopers Rock’s overlook with a perfect glow. We skied in via roadside trial, and back via the road.

Moonlit Nights; Coopers; Rock; Winter; cross; country; skiing; Moonlight; West; Virginia; photo; Gabe; DeWitt; March; 2015; Adventure Photography; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Places; Seasons; Snow; Snow Day; West Virginia; Winter; by Gabe DeWitt

We made it up to Coopers around 9:30pm, skiing to the overlook and back by 11:30pm, and home by midnight.

Night Photography

Moonlit Nights; Coopers; Rock; Winter; cross; country; skiing; Moonlight; West; Virginia; photo; Gabe; DeWitt; March; 2015; Adventure Photography; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Places; Seasons; Snow; Snow Day; West Virginia; Winter; by Gabe DeWitt
A few things to remember when shooting at night:

  • Use a Tripod
  • Use at least a 2 second delay (I often use 5 seconds), to remove any camera shake. Or, use a remote trigger
  • Make sure noise reduction for high ISO and long shutter speeds are enabled.
  • Use manual focus (when capturing stars, focus at infinity, or just a hair back off from it).
  • After setting the focus, check the first shot by zooming in on the playback image (recheck the focus often as moving about can budge things).
  • On cropped sensor cameras be careful of high ISO ranges as they produce a lot of noise. I take great photos at an ISO of 3200 on my D800 (full frame sensor), but anything above ISO 800 on my D300s (cropped sensor) is almost worthless.
  • Modulate the shutter speed and aperture based on your composition and light demands.
  • Try to keep the ISO as low as possible, but don’t be afraid to play with the higher values. Just remember with higher ISO levels comes more noise and a lower dynamic range.
  • The list goes on, but these few tip are enough to get the wheels turning.

I’ll gladly answer other questions though, just leave a comment at the end of the post!

Moonlit Nights; Adventure Photography; Coopers Rock; Cross Country Skiing; Favorite things; Places; Seasons; Snow; Snow Day; West Virginia; Winter; by Gabe DeWitt; panorama

This is a 51.6 megapixel image. I’m making 30 signed and numbered canvas prints of this image available at it’s native size of 32 in by 17 in. I should have a few ready in the next week or so.

  • Anna

    And… don’t leave your tripod out on the dark trail. Or maybe that will just result in another awesome set of photos out on Coopers Rock 🙂

    • Indeed Anna!!! Somehow, I left my tripod at Coopers for 9 days once, sitting up 15 feet from the trail. I couldn’t figure out what I had done with it all week. I finally decided to go back to the last place I remember having it, and my son I and skied about 3/4 of a mile in where I saw it, just sitting there (see attached pic). Thanks again, Anna, for your positive thoughts in knowing I’d find it 🙂 Lesson: Always turn around and look back!

  • tara

    Spectacular. Thank you for the instructions and the info on the crop sensor cameras as I have the 7D. How do we sign up for one of the signed prints? I’d love one depending on the price.

    • Thanks Tara, I’m much obliged. The 7D is a great camera. I’ll add a buy link in the next few days for the limited canvas prints. They’re going to be quite large, and I print, coat, and stretch the canvas myself 🙂

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