When my friends and I decided to go camping near Winslow, AZ I remembered a photo I had been wanting to take for awhile. I wanted to capture all of my good friends sitting around a campfire under the stars. I have tried long exposures before, but this was my first real attempt at it. I wanted the photo to capture the essence of what camping is with all the people you care about. At first I was asking everyone to try their best to stay still. I started to think it looked too posed, so I stopped directing them and let them do their own thing. I really like this image because it captured everyone in their realist form and showed some movement. I thought about using flash but I loved the orange glow from the camp fire. As my friends were enjoying the campfire, I was standing a few feet away shivering while trying to capture this photo. Every now and then one of my friends would come by and ask what I was doing. I would show them and they thought it was the coolest thing ever! That motivated me even more to get this shot.
I was using my Canon 5D MK III and my Canon 16-35mm and tripod. My focal length was 16mm with my ISO at 1000. I left my shutter open for 5 seconds with my f stop at 2.8. I wanted to get some stars without blowing out the campfire. I took this same photo so many different times. Each time the photo looked completely different because people would be walking or moving around. I moved around a bunch worried that the stars would be out of focus if I kept moving. It was really hard to tell on my tiny screen of the stars were sharp or not, so I zoomed up really close to see. I kept at it and eventually got this shot. I cropped a bit and edited to make the stars more viable in post processing. I really love how the image came out and it captured exactly what I wanted. I was proud of my first real attempt at long exposure photography. I like the fact that people are moving around and you can’t make out any faces. It makes me think about a great night camping we all had playing games, sharing stories, laughs and s’mores of course.
About the Photographer:
Nikki Hand is a landscape and outdoor lifestyle photographer from Southern California. She is currently a photography student at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. With a deep passion for the outside world, she is always in search of remote destinations to capture. She is inspired by rich landscapes and loves to experience new places, people, and cultures. Her photographs capture blissful moments of soothing landscapes. As she explores, she has the ability to execute creative compositions. With the great outdoors as her muse, she continues to search for places to photograph that remain wild.
To read more about the Northern Arizona University “Behind the Image: Guest Blogger” project on our blog, please read the introduction at youcansleepwhenyouredead.com/wordpress/4th-annual-northern-arizona-university-behind-the-image-guest-blogger-project. Please take a minute to leave your thoughts and constructive comments in the Comment section below – Nikki would love to hear from you!