A cloudy night at the airplane junkyard: part one

I spent the December full moon photographing an airplane junkyard in the Mojave Desert. There was a lot of residual moisture on the planes, ground, and in the air from a downpour earlier in the week. The dew point was in the mid 40's. I kept an extra pair of gloves over my lens to help prevent fogging.

The first night was cold and clear, and I shot 360 degree panoramas. The second night was very cloudy, so we shot interiors for a couple of hours until the moon broke through. The clouds acted as a big softbox for the moon, giving the light a quiet feeling.

By keeping the exposures short, I was able to maintain definition in the clouds. Most exposures were 1.5-3 minutes. I wanted to shoot at the optimum aperture of f/8 or f/9.5, so I bumped the ISO to 400 to combat the filtered moonlight. The weather was in the mid 40's, so long exposure noise wasn't a problem for the EOS 6D.

Light pollution bounced off the clouds, creating a complementary orange and blue dynamic in the sky. A little bit stronger contrast and curves settings were needed in the RAW conversion to make the images pop in this softer light. Stay tuned for more airplane boneyard night photography, and eventually I'll get around to processing the 360 panoramas!

 

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