Secrets of the Light by Josh Trudell

I like taking photographs in the dark.

And now a few of you are nodding, and some of you are looking at the screen like I’m crazy.

“You can’t take photographs in the dark!,” they say. “All you get is….dark!”

Not at all. With a tripod and long exposures, you would be amazed at some of the results.

What brought this to mind is my self-assigned photo assignment for next week – going to Kickapoo Cavern State Park to take a tour of the cavern and (hopefully) get some good pictures of the dark and gloomy depths.

Night photography is always fun, especially around big cities. There’s always at least a little light to play with, and I have a weak spot for long exposures with lights streaming across the screen or print.

If you haven’t tried any night photography, the basics are fairly straightforward. For a shot like what’s pictured above, find an overpass with a sidewalk that gives you a clear view of the street below. Use a tripod. Smile and be polite when people start looking at you and wondering what you’re doing.

Set up your camera with a low ISO and a long exposure time – this will help reduce the digital noise that can result from long exposures.  Some cameras will have a noise-reduction mode, as well. Shoot, and enjoy.

Cave photography is a little different. Caves that get a lot of tourists have artificial lighting, but many are kept in a natural state.

That means you can play with light painting – once you click the shutter, you use a flashlight to illuminate different parts of the cave in order to create an exposure. This can be a lot of fun, and result in all kinds of interesting pictures.

I’ll report back next week with the results of my trek.