We enjoy our outdoors activities, and one of our major suppliers for gear is Recreation Equipment, Inc. In addition to being a major outdoors sports outlet, REI does travel and arranges local workshops and classes. We saw a four hour Night Photography Hike at South Mountain they were hosting and decided it would be fun to go along.
The class was meant to be an introduction to night photography techniques and covered the basics of exposure control, some of the compromises involved in low light shooting and some light painting. It was held in the first half mile or so of the Beverly Canyon Trail, a surprisingly good location for night photography. The trail immediately crosses a ridge that makes a good location for Phoenix cityscapes and then descends into a small valley well shielded from lights.
It would be a good location to capture the Milky Way in summer, but this time of year Orion was the most identifiable constellation and isn’t nearly as photogenic. The group spent some time experimenting with landscape and light painting techniques just off trail and made good use of the opportunity.
Personally I enjoyed the chance to experiment with different settings in low light in preparation for out upcoming Alaska trip. Having just upgraded my Olympus camera to the E-M1 Mk II it gave me a chance to get used to operating it in the dark and finding where all the important settings are.
It was also nice to get out and do a little evening hiking, as if we needed an excuse!