Night photography: Half of a school bus (ribs)

Half of a school bus (ribs) -- by Joe Reifer

Half of a school bus (ribs) -- by Joe Reifer

Five images at 2 minutes f/8 ISO 400 were combined for this cumulative 10 minute exposure. The exposures were short because I was trying to capture lightning strikes above the ribbed metal debris piled in this half of a school bus. Unfortunately the lightning was too low to the horizon to appear in the shot.

Can you identify what is different about the camera position on this shot than the typical junkyard photo? There were no tricks in post-processing — it’s something physical about the actual camera placement.

7 thoughts on “Night photography: Half of a school bus (ribs)

    • LOL. Yes, the camera was about 7 feet in the air. I’ve been thinking about the power of a high camera position in the work of Shore, and was recently able to swap my tripod for something taller.

  1. check out nclamp.com i’m going to experiment with one of these at pauls in october. may allow me to attach to sturdy objects in ways i can’t get with the tripod.

    • You might consider a Manfrotto super clamp with a camera attachment instead. Stronger than a pony clamp setup. Paul’s does lend itself to unusual camera positions.

  2. I’m always trying to get an elevated point of view. I sometimes carry around an eight foot step ladder, sometimes to put the camera on top of, sometimes to use to climb on top of the van so I can set up the tripod there. Which sets the lens height @ about 11 ft. above the ground. Still haven’t made the commitment for one of these or these though.

  3. How do you feel about the ribbed clouds in the stacked sky, Joe? I see this incidental effect a lot around the web, but don’t really care for it, it looks unnatural and distracting.

    I like it here, playing against the ribs on the bus, but in general it seems to almost always make me say WTF?

    It can be smoothed in post, in theory, but it’d be a lot of work to get it right. I usually save stack shots for cloudless nights to avoid dealing with it.

    • Yeah, ribs don’t usually work. This image is a fun exception. Wait until you see this weird mixed color cloud stack with purple lightning that I’ve been playing with – it looks so fake that it’s a great example of how not to do it.

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