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Night on the Lake

Posted by
Ian Bramham (Manchester, United Kingdom) on 18 February 2009 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

A 10 minute long exposure photo - full night on Grasmere Lake, Cumbria with the glow of Grasmere village in the background.

It was so dark that I could hardly see those rocks in the foreground through the camera viewfinder.

This was photographed on Saturday when I met up with John Leech for a dusk to dawn shoot in the English Lake District.

12 hours photography in beautiful scenery like this produced a lot of landscape photos, both colour and b&w, and I'll be posting the results here over the coming weeks. I hope you'll like them.

NIKON D40 6011/10 second F/8.0 ISO 200 24 mm (35mm equiv.)

Like what you see here and are interested in photographic composition?.....the blog section of my website now has a complete set of 5 articles covering my personal approach to the subject: Ian Bramham Photography - Blog

For purchasing high quality archival prints of any of these photos you can send me an email by clicking here or by going to my website Ian Bramham - Fine Art Photography where prices are listed in the gallery sections under each individual photo.

Didier from somewhere, France

Wonderful landscape

18 Feb 2009 6:28am

@Didier: Thanks Didier!

Philip from Joburg, South Africa

Excellent landscape photography the colours are incredible!

18 Feb 2009 7:24am

@Philip: Thanks Philip....I've done a lot of night photography over the last year and I'm often delighted at the way the camera records colour even when it's as dark as this was to the naked eye. 10 minutes is a long time to be gathering light and it often produces unhoped for results.

greg from Denver, United States

crazy gorgeous color.. nice job

18 Feb 2009 7:26am

@greg: Thanks Greg....this was the last photograph of the day so you can imagine how pleased I was with it. A lovely way to finish off a great day of self indulgent landscape photography.

Marie LC from Voiron, France


18 Feb 2009 7:42am

@Marie LC: Hi Marie :-)

yz from Budapest, Hungary

amazingly beautiful

18 Feb 2009 8:17am

@yz: Thanks yz!

Courtney King from Sydney, Australia

Beautiful to the eye!
wonderful photo!

18 Feb 2009 8:20am

Courtney King from Sydney, Australia

... so peaceful!

18 Feb 2009 8:20am

@Courtney King: Thanks Courtney.....yes, it was very peaceful down there at the water's edge with time to appreciate it all while the camera did it's thing with the 10 minute exposure.

bm from Budapest, Hungary

terrific vista, the colors are wonderful and calming

18 Feb 2009 9:38am

@bm: Thanks bm!

Mike from Lichfield, United Kingdom

An extremely well balanced and beautifully exposed photograph. I can't wait to see some of the other photos. Did you do much post processing on this one?

18 Feb 2009 10:07am

@Mike: Thanks, there's almost no post processing on this one. It was a touch underexposed so I brightened it very slightly without going so far as to loose the feeling of it being a night time photo or introducing digital noise. Also I had to straighten the horizon by a few degrees.

Although I'd already taken a few photos from this spot before nightfall, I was very lucky with the composition as it was too dark to see those foreground rocks properly through the viewfinder.

zahai from Berlin, Germany

Wonderful light and mood, beautiful composition. Great :)

18 Feb 2009 10:58am

@zahai: Thanks Zahai!

GJC from Kyoto, Japan

This is stunning. I think your color work is extraordinary and this is a prime example. The control over exposure and color is just so amazing. Thanks for sharing, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the shoot.

18 Feb 2009 11:00am

@GJC: Thanks GJC....I've always enjoyed the way colour turns out in night photography.

Lee from Fort Frances Ontario, Canada

Looks great.

18 Feb 2009 12:43pm

@Lee: Thanks Lee!

Michael Skorulski from Cigel, Slovakia

Superlative, Ian. A piece of art.

18 Feb 2009 12:57pm

@Michael Skorulski: Thanks Michael!

IanSmith from London, United Kingdom

Wow Ian, this is beautiful!!!
Can I ask how you focussed this shot?

18 Feb 2009 1:22pm

@IanSmith: Thanks Ian!
I was surprised a little by how well the autofcusing on my D40 still worked okay on the shots I did at this location but I guess it was down to the sensors picking up the contrast in the lights from the village, although I usually switch over to manual focus once I've got a focus lock on infinity.

I've certainly never taken photos before in such a dark location......I could easily have kept the shutter open for 20 minutes and it still wouldn't have been overexposed.

Cheryl from Texas, United States

5 stars on this one....georgous light and tone and so smooth!! BRAVO!!! my favorite!

18 Feb 2009 1:30pm

@Cheryl: Thanks Cheryl!

bluechameleon from Vancouver, Canada

OMG Ian, this is truly superb! The colours are so deep and rich! I am amazed! Five stars and a heart at VFXY.

18 Feb 2009 2:02pm

@bluechameleon: Thanks Sharon! (and for the fave at VFXY!)

Laurie from New Jersey, United States

This is quite beautiful. I love the light you pulled from the night scene and the colors.

18 Feb 2009 2:02pm

@Laurie: Thanks Laurie!

Anna.C from LA ROCHELLE, France

wonderful result ! I love this dark blue night ! you are patient to wait for 10mn ;-)

18 Feb 2009 2:25pm

@Anna.C: Thanks was a pleasure to be there and to have the time to take this photo in such beautiful and peaceful surroundings!

MadScientist from Düsseldorf, Germany

That's exciting and beautiful as well. 10 minutes - incredible!

18 Feb 2009 2:34pm

@MadScientist: Thanks very much!

WABIKOJA from Shiga, Japan

Love those cool colours. Well spotted.

18 Feb 2009 3:11pm

@WABIKOJA: Thanks very much....the colours are straight out of the camera which was a nice surprise!

Ben from Tacoma, WA, United States

Wonderful shot, I love the composition and the colors. Feels very eery to me.

18 Feb 2009 3:31pm

@Ben: Thanks was actually very calm, peaceful and very beautiful with the slight mist and the still water.

Wayne Molyneux from Crewe, United Kingdom

Thats a fabulous result from a 10 min exposure you even kept detail in those FG rocks, what if any noise reduction software do you use?

An impressed Wayne

18 Feb 2009 3:34pm

@Wayne Molyneux: Thanks answer your question, I didn't use any noise reduction software on this although I had the function switched on in-camera mainly to make sure I didn't end up with any unwanted amp glow due to the long exposure. As you probaly know the camera takes another 10 minute dark exposure immediately after the real one and deducts any colour interference resulting from the sensor heating up.

There's virtually no processing on this other than lightening it slightly and straightening the horizon in Capture NX2 and adding the border etc in Photoshop.

ZoomLNZ from Los Angeles Area, United States

A truely beautiful shot. I love the gradient colors.

Thanks for your visit and comments at my site.

18 Feb 2009 3:41pm

@ZoomLNZ: Thanks very much!

hugo poon from hong kong, Hong Kong

Another incredible long exposure photo... So beautiful is each and every element of this pic: the tone, lighting, composition, atmosphere, drama... Congrats, Ian!!!

18 Feb 2009 4:21pm

@hugo poon: Thanks Hugo....sometimes these long exposure photos bring the nicest surprises!

Claus Petersen from herfølge, Denmark

Beautiful range of blues and purples! Great shot!

18 Feb 2009 5:01pm

@Claus Petersen: Thanks Claus!

Sof from Neuchâtel, Switzerland

Vraiment vraiment très beau

18 Feb 2009 5:33pm

@Sof: Thanks Sof!

Eleftheria from Athens, Greece

And of course 5 stars from Eleftheria!

18 Feb 2009 5:54pm

@Eleftheria: Thanks Eletheria!

JoeB from Brampton, Canada

Its like night into day, I'm still trying to get around the 10 min. exposure.

18 Feb 2009 8:46pm

@JoeB: Thanks Joe!.....these long exposures certainly slow things down a lot and give me time to appreciate why I love photography.

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

Spectacular, spectacular!

18 Feb 2009 9:23pm

@Ted: Cheers Ted!

Frida from Sweden

Beautiful and well composed. I love the soft colors and tones. The two sides one blue and one "pink" that blends together are beautiful.

18 Feb 2009 10:00pm

@Frida: Thanks Frida....I was lucky with the colours as that's just how they came out of the camera.

alex centrella from California, United States

wow, fantastic color..and a great portfolio of work also..

18 Feb 2009 11:31pm

@alex centrella: Thanks very much Alex!

Jen from St. George, United States

This photo is breath-taking! And the rocks in the foreground, even though you could hardly see them, bring the picture together nicely! :)

19 Feb 2009 12:39am

@Jen: Thanks Jen.....sometimes, if you keep pressing the shutter button enough, you just get lucky once in a while...I was really pleased with this one.

Jerry from Tampa, United States


19 Feb 2009 1:08am

@Jerry: Thanks Jerry!

Tracy from Victoria, Canada

This photo is incredible!! The colours are amazing, it's so calm and very very beautiful

19 Feb 2009 1:38am

@Tracy: Thanks Tracy....yes, it was very calm and peaceful down by the lakeside enveloped by the darkness.

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

10 minute exposure - wow! and yet the photo is still perfectly sharp and visibility brilliant! trully excellent work! the long exposure has brought out the colours out of the night and the mood is just wonderful! love the rocks leading into the shot - my eyes just want to jump from one to the other and keep going further in...

19 Feb 2009 1:47am

@DarkElf: Thanks!....I was lucky that the composition turned out like this as it was very difficult to see the foreground rocks through the viewfinder, although I'd already taken some photos from roughly this position before darkness fell which helped a lot.

Virgil from Richmond, United States

I really like the colors.

19 Feb 2009 1:51am

@Virgil: Thanks Virgil!

Daniel from Kenmare, United States

seems calm.

19 Feb 2009 2:10am

@Daniel: Thanks Daniel!....yes, it was very peaceful and still down by the waters edge.

David Murray from Newark-on-Trent, United Kingdom

Grasmere by night! That is truly beautiful. Thank you.

19 Feb 2009 3:08am

@David Murray: Thanks David!

amy from Nanaimo, BC, Canada

Incredible, Ian! You are the man!! Love your new site... I'm sure you'll be selling a lot of images!!

19 Feb 2009 4:14am

@amy: Thanks Amy....we'll see won't we :-) (I'm in no rush)

William Darhy from France

Beautiful colors on this night shot. I like this light in the back, a bit surreal

19 Feb 2009 7:02am

@William Darhy: Thanks my experience digital cameras always record colour at night differently from the way our eyes do and the results often have a slightly intense 'other worldly' feel to them which I really like.

Rui from Leiria, Portugal

Absolutely gorgeous. Excellent work.
Night photography is what drives me on. I've been investing in this area, and you're right... the results are always amazing and surprising. It's fantastic how the camera captures the different colors and light that we can not see with our eyes.
At this moment I'm also preparing a new session for the first days of March, when the moon is full, and the light is more intense.

19 Feb 2009 9:45am

@Rui: Thanks Rui!
When I moved up from using a compact camera to my current DSLR just over a year ago the ability to try long exposure night photography proved such a great revelation.

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Master of Light, you are my dreammaker... why oh why do I stay away? Because I'm afraid that my passion for beauty will once again overcome my poverty and I'll buy so many prints..mmm man you deserve millions...

19 Feb 2009 11:53am

@Lorraine: Hi have the nicest way with compliments. Thanks!

Stephen from Canada

beautiful blues

19 Feb 2009 2:06pm

John Maslowski from Dallas, PA, United States

Spectacular composition, the colors, light and mist really create the mood here. Excellent in every respect. Great processing on this image.

20 Feb 2009 1:47am

MAGDA from Canada

Wow! Absolutely breathtaking!

23 Feb 2009 5:38am

Stu from Kyoto, Japan

Ah...yeah....well this is just ridiculously good Ian. 'nuff said.

25 Feb 2009 10:34am

Russ Devan from New Hanover, United States

Simply beautiful, Ian. I love the mood here.

25 Feb 2009 7:36pm

missparis from PARIS, France

Trop trop beau !!!

26 Feb 2009 3:31pm

Jeff from Honolulu, United States

Beautiful colors, gradually fading into one another, and a pleasing composition.

1 Mar 2009 5:40am

manolo from huelva, Spain

Marvelous fog and color.

1 Mar 2009 11:32am

Ragnar from Tromso, Norway

I just love the colours in this one! So magical, well done!

3 Mar 2009 11:09am

m a r t a from Spain

Wow, this is beautiful. The water looks so calm and peaceful.

10 Mar 2009 11:36am

Klaus from Germany

amazing lights ... well done Ian

21 Mar 2009 12:17pm

6011/10 second
ISO 200
24 mm (35mm equiv.)