Workshop postcard: Alcatraz at night from Fort Mason

Alcatraz at night from Fort Mason -- by Joe Reifer

Last night I did a guest lecture at the Nocturnes San Francisco night photography workshop at Fort Mason. Nocturnes head honcho Tim Baskerville did an excellent slideshow on the history of night photography, and then I shared some recent images and talked about RAW workflow for night photography. One of the most popular topics turned out to be RAW adjustments for removing the hideous orange glow of sodium vapor lights. I also showed how to quickly use Lightroom to adjust for other difficult urban night photography lighting situations that would require some tricky filtration if shooting film. More on these topics after the full moon shooting weekend is over.

The image above was shot from near the Firehouse at Fort Mason. The exposure time was 5 minutes at f/11, ISO 100. The green color of the water is from nearby lighting, and the sky coloration is from city lights across the bay. These colors are straight out of the camera with no fancy post-processing -- just a few quick RAW adjustments. While the shutter was open a fisherman pulled a 15" fish out of the water. When I expressed my enthusiasm for his catch, the fellow remarked how this fish was rather small and he usually catches bigger ones. I'm going to get out there under the full moon tonight and catch a big about you?