Nikon D70 @ 18mm, 493.4 secs, f/3.5, ISO 200
Help, we're under attack! It was like a scene from Independence Day - the skies were glowing red from the flames of the burning cities in the distance. I managed to capture some of the aliens' bombs as they hurled towards earth. Luckily I had my wooden hut to save me.
Ok, so perhaps I'm exaggerating slightly here...
I took this shot over New Year while I was staying beside Loch Coldingham. As I explained in this previous post
the stars were absolutely spectacular one night, so I just had
to go out and take photographs. I had seen this hut and trees the previous day and thought they would make nice additions to a star trail shot. So I set up my tripod and started taking short 30 second exposures, trying to get my composition right. Because it was pitch black I had to rely on the previews displayed on my LCD to compose the shots, tweaking the position of my tripod slightly after each one.
As you can imagine this took quite a while, and before I knew it I looked up only to discover that the stars had disappeared! A huge cloud had come out of nowhere and obstructed my view of the stars. Disaster, I thought. I took another shot anyway, to see if it was at all salvageable. Then appeared an incredibly bright sky - it was the glow from the lights of a nearby farm. Perhaps this would work after all.
Now, I had a nice colourful sky, but a black foreground. I had anticipated this and so had my SB-800 flashlight with me. I was able to trip the shutter with my remote, walk up to the hut and trees and manually fire the flash about 15 times or so. The thing about this method is that you have to watch where you stand - if you're standing in between the object you're flashing (oi, behave!) and the camera then you will appear as a silhouette. And that explains the faint figure standing on the left hand side of the hut - that's my shadow!
I also think that the cool colour temperature of the light from my flash helped exaggerate the warm temperature of the sky. I liked the effect so much that I altered the hue of the sky ever so slightly so that it appeared a little redder. Very little post processing was done apart from that.
Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing your comments on this one, as I have a feeling it may attract divided opinions. Does it work for you?