Photographers the world over are always looking for the ways to take a popular photo that will make them a lot of money.
For amateurs, that would be great – turn a hobby (sometimes a fairly expensive one) into an income.
So, how did I do it? Well, let’s get one thing straight. This hasn’t made me any money. Yet. But, it has been popular on Flickr, compared to my other pictures, and got a few nice comments, which I am proud of.
It’s simple. A lot of photographers go out during the day, whereas I go out during the evening. I like to go out under the cover of darkness, whilst the streets are quiet and no light is around, to take long exposures, low depth of field shots, and star trail shots.
I did go out with intent of doing star trails, but the reasons I didn’t was that I didn’t want to go too far, and my intended location had boy racers speeding around Marine Drive in Llandudno, meaning my safety – I need to be in pitch black conditions, and it’s a narrow road – was compromised. So, I went to the gate, and looked for where the moon that night was falling.
It was perfect. The moon reflected on a calm sea over the Llandudno Pier head, and using a standard lens at 24mm (my Canon EF 24-105L f/4 IS) it was all able to be taken in.
I tried a few other types of lens as well, including my Samyang 8mm fisheye (which I love, and i’ll talk about that soon) and my Sigma 10-20mm f3.5, but they didn’t work.
A bit of careful processing, and you get the image at the top of this. I basically used the exposure tool to brighten it a bit, I used the grad tool in Lightroom 4 to alter the white balance of the sky a bit. I also altered the shadows and highlights – taking some highlight away, and adding some detail in the darker areas, and added a slight vignette.
Zoom in a bit, to 70mm, and you get this image as well.
What I learnt from this was that you just need to look around you. Well, I didn’t learn it from this, it’s just a lesson in it. If the image you want isn’t accessible, see what else is around. Even if it is, see what else is around – you may be surprised.
The other lesson i’m keen for people to learn. Get in your car. Go for a drive. Or, go for a walk, cycle, whatever, and take your camera. You never know what you’ll see, and how popular it’ll be.