Camping during the eruption

Camping during the eruption by Marco Calandra

Camping during the eruption by Marco Calandra

What a classic outdoor photo! The red hot lava is a bonus for being in the right place at the right time! But it’s not so straight forward to capture this kind of image because you’re unlikely to get a sharply focused foreground object plus a starry night sky in a single shot.

You still follow the basics of night photography: tripod, cable-release (or, alternatively, use the 2-second self-timer), higher ISO, etc. But the key is to take two photos of the same composition. For the first photo, focus the lens to infinity and make an exposure for the sky. For the second photo, focus and do an exposure for the ground. Then merge both photos together using Photoshop. I’m not a huge fan of Photoshop manipulation, but in this case, I’ve to accept that it has to be done this way. I’ll try this technique next time (note that this is not my photo).

I do a lot of camping during summer and have experimented with different ways of shooting a tent glowing at night. To light the inside of a tent for this kind of shot, use either a candle or a Coleman lantern … and my tip is to remove its lid to avoid casting a shadow on top. Take out everything else inside the tent too, otherwise there will be distracting silhouettes. In addition, you may also need an external light source (for example, a nearby campfire or your vehicle’s headlights) to brighten up the area between yourself and the tent. And, finally, do not use flash.

For large version of this photo, please go to PhotoExtract Photography Magazine.

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