Tuesday, May 13, 2014


One of my favorite hobbies is photography.

Shooting pictures has been one of my favorite pastimes ever since my Uncle Donny gave me my 35mm SLR first camera in junior high.  It was a manual camera - no automatic focus or settings. I have never lost my love for film.

The skills gathered over the years using manual film cameras is still very useful.  I still like to manually focus and understand your camera’s metering system. There was no instant gratification like there is today. You developed your own film or sent it away for developing. There was no LCD display either!

I learned the craft of developing my own film and photographs in J-School. I was fascinated with the magic of bringing my own pictures to life. There is a different artistic approach with film. Spooling  your film in a light-sealed change bag with your eyes closed. Mixing your chemicals for either black and white or color and  developing  your film at the proper temperatures. 

Perhaps I am being too nostalgic because my nose is tingling recalling the smells of the dark room chemicals.

The point of this post was to talk about my failed attempt to take advantage of the full Moon to take some night exposures of icebergs.  

Icebergfinder.com was showing a pair of bergs just off the shore of Cape Francis - one was extra-large. 

I was determined to give try and catch them basking in the glow of the full-moon with Conception Bay in the background, so I bundled up warm and headed to Pouch Cove and than up the dirt road to Cape St. Francis.

There was one berg in sight. The extra-large beg must have drifted down towards Pouch Cove. It appeared to be grounded in the little Cove south of the light house in Conception Bay. 

My tripod and SLR in hand, I sought to get some great photos. 

The Moon was beautiful, the sky was clear with a decoration of stars and the luminosities of the lights from Carbonear and Harbour Grace  in the background.. It was chilly but I was prepared.

The downside was the wind and the rotary motion of the bright lamp of the lighthouse, which would cascade shadows and light-up the cove every minute and ten minutes.

Movement and light contamination are the enemies of night photography. I could get a little artsy with the strobes of light - like the waves, that motion could create some nice effects. The wind gusting and vibrating my tripod and camera was unworkable. I tried to find a vantage point out of the wind, but exploring the rocky outcrops at night was not a prudent idea. 

In the end, I managed to get a few blurry shots. My disappointment was compensated by the rugged beauty of the moonlit  coastline and the cacophony of the waves breaking around the narrow peninsula at the cape.

Now, I have visions of catching the bigger berg with a telephoto lens in the bask of the pinkish tones of the sky when the sun rises in the morning or perhaps,  returning tomorrow evening at dusk and capturing the smaller berg with the sun setting over Conception Bay.

 Better success next time, I hope

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