Long exposures in Nordhavn

Feeling bored, I went for a bike ride out to Nordhavn. It’s quite an interesting place, with cottage industries, harbour facilities, and quite a bit of new redevelopment. And it made for quite a few good long-exposure shots.

Looking across the harbour channel to the other side. This was a bit of a zoom, and the wind was gusty, so camera must have moved a bit.
Looking across the harbour channel to the other side. This was a bit of a zoom, and the wind was gusty, so camera must have moved a bit.

The cranes, the frost on the ground, and the bright light make for an interesting contrast.
The cranes, the frost on the ground, and the bright light make for an interesting contrast.

Svanemølleværket in the background. Marina and modern developments centreground. My bike foreground.
Svanemølleværket in the background. Marina and modern developments centreground. My bike foreground.

Svanemølleværket. When this picture appeared on my camera screen after the 15 second processing time, I whooped out into the night.
Svanemølleværket. When this picture appeared on my camera screen after the 15 second processing time, I whooped out into the night.

Taking pictures of the moon: tricking my camera to choose a short shutter time

So yesterday night the moon was quite pretty and bright. So I thought I would take a picture of it.

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All these photos are cropped from the maximum 8x zoom of my Canon PowerShot A4000 IS.

Now if any of you own this camera you know that you can’t manually change the shutter time. So when photographing the moon, it will choose a much too long shutter time, and the moon will just be a white disk. But I managed to do it in a clever little way anyway. Process outlined below:

  • Select Program mode
  • Zoom in to full extent
  • Set 2 second self timer (important!)
  • Set ISO to 100
  • Set exposure to -2
  • Point camera at your smartphone screen displaying a white image at full brigthness
  • Half press shutter – voila, exposure time 1/200
  • Keep shutter button half pressed and move camera to point at moon
  • Press shutter all the way to take a nice picture.

The bit about the self-timer turns out to be important. Because otherwise the camera continually readjusts the exposure time, making this trick fail. Anyway, I think this was a clever little method.

Some of the pictures are at 1/60 as well. And with different exposure levels. But all in all, a big improvement over bright white disks.