Monday, October 12, 2009

Photo of the Week - Night Photography

One afternoon last week in the middle of the milking we had some trouble with the milk pump, or so we thought. Jake couldn't find anything wrong, so he called out a technician, who also couldn't find anything wrong. That is, until he put his little gizmo on the power line to check the power feed and saw that we were getting only a trickle of the electricity that should be flowing - the failsafe switch on the transformer that feeds power to the milking parlor had been tripped. (Fortunately we discovered this before the pump burned out!)

A call to the power company brought out a lineman to reset the transformer. It is always fun to watch a lineman do his thing, but just imagine our surprise when a huge tongue of flame shot out of the transformer when he flipped the switch! Fortunately noone was hurt, but... now we had a very big problem. No electricity in the middle of the milking shift, and it would be hours before the power company could send out a crew with the equipment to deal with the situation.

Jake and the guys hooked up the generator while Lydia and I went into the house to cut the power to all sensitive electronics. Sigh... It was going to be a dark and cold evening at Cascade View Dairy.

I was a little shocked by how absolutely dark it gets around here with no moon and no barnyard lights. It was a great feeling to watch the big utility trucks pull into the driveway.

I didn't have anything else to do, so I grabbed my camera and attempted some night photography using full manual settings. It took some trial and error, but eventually I hit upon a good combination of settings.

I think I ended up using ISO 800, F/4, and a shutter speed of about 1/2 second. I was able to take these shots hand held using "da grip" - I am making an effort to always compose my photos with my left eye at the viewfinder after this!

I had plenty of time to experiment, as it was nearly midnight before they finally finished. They actually replaced all 3 of the old transformers, so here is hoping that we won't have this issue again!

I have gotten some good work done on my Retreat doll as well, but I will save those photos for another entry.


HElen said...

Sorry about power issues but thanksfully it is resolved!
You did great night photos! Cool!

Jennifer Rose said...

not good that it happened, but at least it was found before anyone was hurt.

nice job with the photos :) never easy taking night shots.

Serena said...

of course things like this always seem to happen at the worst possible times, don't they? how frustrating but it's a relief no one got hurt.

great shots! i appreciate you noting the settings you used....i am a total novice when it comes to camera settings.

Michelle Eaton said...

Glad no one was hurt. How frustrating for you all.