Eagle Field night photography: Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting

The night of the full moon is a good opportunity to integrate the moonrise into your photos. I’d been doing some shooting in the old Eagle Field radio room during last week’s night photography workshop, and thought the mannequin watching the moonrise out of the window would be a fun image.

There was a tungsten bug light hanging outside the radio room that we’d been turning off so people could light paint the various old pieces of equipment inside. I turned the light back on to help frame my shot, and made a few high ISO test images to check composition, focus, and exposure. Then I turned down the ISO, and made this exposure of 3 minutes at f/11.

Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting #1

Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting #1

The shot looked pretty good. So I turned off the light, and went outside the room to try lighting the scene with a flashlight. I experimented with various angles until I noticed the projected shadow of the mannequin on the wall. I went back inside, and set the camera to make a few exposures. My favorite light painted version of the image is below.

Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting #2

Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting #2

These photos were shot with an Olympus OM 18mm f/3.5 lens on a Canon EOS 6D. This lens has very little distortion. The camera was tilted up slightly, but I was able to use the new Upright feature in Lightroom 5 to quickly correct the perspective. I’d composed the shot a bit loosely to leave room for the cropping that was necessary for perspective correction. Upright worked surprisingly well for this interior shot.

10 thoughts on “Eagle Field night photography: Radio Room moonrise or UFO sighting”

  1. I think I like the warmer tones of the first one, and the fan shadow is a bit crisper. But they are both winners!

    1. Thanks! The first version does have stronger warm/cool color contrast. I have a few different versions of the wall shadows in #2. I liked the way this one got the window frame on the wall along with the mannequin shadow.

  2. I’ve got a shadow shot I tried in there too and what I noticed is that I couldn’t get a sharp shadow of the head. I think there was some light bouncing off of the windows creating a double shadow. I tried a few different angles but couldn’t get it. I initially thought it was the buglight but after shutting it off I had the same issues.

    1. Interesting. Maybe it’s bounce off the mannequin back against the window. I checked the other variations of this shot, and they all have some degree of shadow doubling.

      Of course this could be removed in post, but it doesn’t bother me at all. I actually like how it adds a bit more motion/energy. This model is a little bit stiff!

  3. I really like the shadow in #2 and the warmth of #1! Not to go off-topic, but what device do you use to mount the Olympus lens on the Canon 6D? Thanks, Joe!

    1. Funny how people prefer the warm interior. The Olympus lens can be used on Canon with an OM to EOS adapter. Stay away from the cheap ones. Fotodiox Pro adapters are pretty good.

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