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What To Look For In A Headlamp For Night Photography

What To Look For In A Headlamp For Night Photography

It feels like a lot of the ads for headlamps lately really seem to push how bright they are and I've started to cringe at that.  It's not that I mind a bright headlamp, it's just that for the most part headlamps are already bright enough in my view and I'd really like to see people get more control over the lower intensities...

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How to Find Dark Skies for Night Photography

How to Find Dark Skies for Night Photography

Finding dark skies can seem challenging at first - especially if you don't use any tools to guide you along the way. Sure, you can drive away from the city into the countryside, but there's a little more to it than that. Fortunately, astronomers have been thinking about dark skies for a long time so this isn't anything new.

So over the years, I've come across a few tools that help to identify some locations that would be good and others that don't quite fit the bill. This approach to driving my night adventures with light pollution data is a key part of my dark sky photography planning.

Option #1 - Dark Sky Finder
My favorite tool is called the Dark Sky Finder at http://www.jshine.net/astronomy/dark_sky/ - a website that lays light pollution data over top of a Google Map. This makes it really easy to see just where the light pollution is with colors indicating the intensity of the light pollution - a great asset for planning night photography adventures in the Continental US...

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How To Focus In The Dark

How To Focus In The Dark

Focusing in the dark can be a tricky task... and it can certainly be frustrating to go to all the effort of shooting at night only to get home and find that the scene wasn't quite in-focus. When it comes to focusing at night, there are a few options that work better than others.

Option #1 - Hard Stop At Infinity
I really like it when I'm using a lens that has a hard stop on the focus ring at infinity. This allows me to more easily set the focus on infinity which works really well in most cases.  In-fact, this approach is so easy that I use it whenever I'm using a lens that allows it.  Some of my lenses however, have the ability to focus past infinity which complicates the process. Back to the simple approach, I just make sure I know which way to turn the focus ring before I get out into the dark and then use just turn the ring all the way in the correct direction. I've heard of some people taping the focus ring (with gaffers tape) but I don't typically do that...

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