Apr 27, 2010

U. Of D.: Sunset, Moonrise

The University of Delaware is really a beautiful campus. It's all red brick, green grass, and chimneys. I went to school in Idaho. We had yellow bricks, red stains on our cuffs, and ice. Hmmm.

Anyway, I was kickin' myself for not getting started a little more swiftly this evening. The sunset was just right, and the colors everywhere were really nice--cool green with warm red brick, and cool blue sky with warm orange wispy little clouds. A very nice composition just sitting around for any Joe with a camera ready. And there I was sipping root beer. Ah, well. Tomorrow's another day. Rats, with the time zones, it is tomorrow! I'm planning an early shoot to complement (ahem) tonight's moonrise pictures.

The campus has all kinds of well planned architecture. Actually, it's all very similar architecture, but it many archetypal elements. The recurring themes of threes was one of my favorites. It's also a very symmetrical campus, with loads of lovely horticultural constructions. I was hugely impressed, and would like to try my hand at it again. We'll see. Delaware is deceptively large, and I'd like to see a little more of it.

Anyway, here're some of my favorites. You may notice some meltorrian influence, most of which is intentional. It's like my pal Jed says: "Good artists copy others' work; Great artists steal it."

Click through for the rest of the images and story.

The sun had just set, and the lights were coming on, and white balance could have been a night mare here. However, I decided to balance for the lights on the building that were super orange--like those orange street lamps that are so nasty to shoot under--not the California yellow ones that envelope everything so evenly in that pasty light, but just the normal orange ones that every city around the world seems to use (except, of course, California cities; or at least the Bay Area). Anyway, countering heavily for the super orange lights casts a super even blue on the sky. I rather like it.

Now, in this one, you've got to imagine what I was imagining and then forgive me for using myself as a model; it could be forgivable, I suppose, if I had been wearing a large, flowing gown, but then I'd have a whole other reason to ask your forgiveness. Wow. So, there was this perfect little set of arches, and great lighting. And me. Between getting the remote to work  It was colder for the season, and students were all hurrying by too swiftly to be pressed into service. So, between getting the timer to work properly and positioning myself, and not getting anyone else in the picture, I made about twenty exposures. The trickiest part was setting my flash up. I was really pushing the limits of the sensor on my SB-600, but as I was at the Studio debating whether to bring the 600 or the 800, the 600 weighted a few ounces less, and flashbacks of my aching back as I slogged through NYC pushed me to go for weight instead of performance. My bad. So, as it is, we see the flash head in the shot, but at least the model is lit. Again, I love the sky here. The moon is lighting the wisps of clouds up there, and the stars are even popping in.

I was really excited when this popped up on the camera screen. The lights from the basketball courts (where students were playing hockey--definitely not Utah) were making the grass very brilliant while the orange building lights kept the warm glow on the front, and having moved again, the glow of the moon is back lighting nicely. Again, loads of Students walking by. However, on a thirty second exposure, it doesn't matter much who walks by as long they don't stop.

What do you think? Would Mel be proud?

All shot on Nikon D90, 12-24mm lens @ various focal lengths, all at f/8 (on this lens (12-24mm f/4), anything farther than about four feet is in focus, so sharpness is the best use of aperture, not worrying about depth of field) all on tripod with times ranging from 1.6 seconds to 30 seconds, ISO 200.


  1. Recommend Winterthur (Delaware) and Longwood Gardens (just into PA) while you're there if you can.

  2. Thanks, Bec. I may have to give you a call...

  3. Very nice! Thanks for the credit. Moon captures are tough so my favorite is the first one. Well done! Great mood.