Night Photography in Tampa Bay
March 23, 2017 6:11 AM   Subscribe

Having bought a new DSLR camera I am trying new picture taking challenges. I'll be in St. Pete, Largo, Clearwater area for a month and would like ideas or tips for early morning night shots. No Tampa area please since I don't want to wrestle with that traffic. I have a tripod so walking is fine. Thanks.
posted by Mickelstiff to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh gosh. I can name about a million places depending on amy mumber of subject matter. John's pass bridge to get sunsets over the gulf and then walking through the johns pass village for candids of tourists. Bunches of marinas for old florida. Gulfport for derelict boats and the overgrown cemetary. downtown st pete for street/hipster scenes. Memail if you want and we can dial in more specific suggestions!
posted by chasles at 6:36 AM on March 23, 2017

If your new DSLR does bracketed exposures - which I am sure it must - then take bracketed exposures. If there's one thing I've found when shooting in reduced lighting it's that my camera is more than happy to over-expose every single shot.

If you want to make more of an experiment of it, I'd suggest instead of bracketed exposures like
[-1, 0, +1]
go for something instead like
[-2, -1, 0]
since the 0 exposure is probably going to be too bright anyway, and the +1 is most certainly going to be over-exposed.

I no longer use bracketed exposure because by now I'm comfortable knowing when I need to under-expose by one or two stops (which is almost all the time when shooting at twilight or night).
posted by komara at 6:52 AM on March 23, 2017

Here are some photo challenges:
Long exposures with things moving: shoot a photo of a busy street corner and get headlight/tail light streaks. shoot a photo of a tourist attraction/popular night place and get blurry people. shoot a photo of a tree/bush/flower in the wind. shoot a photo of the ocean waves. if you can get close to an airport take some long exposures.

Long exposure with static scene: shoot pictures of street light lit scenes explore the weird shadows and colors. shoot a picture of a brightly lit doorway casting light into a dark street. use a flashlight to paint light onto a dark scene illuminating things selectively.

Astronomical: shoot photos of the moon over the city at dusk/twilight (dynamic range with the moon after twilight makes the photos technically hard). Shoot photos of star trails, satellites, etc.

Panning shot: shoot a photo of a person with a slow shutter speed (1/5 to 1/15th) while panning the camera matching the speed of the person, so that the person is in focus and the background is blurred because of motion. same thing but with a car. same thing but with a bike.

Here are a couple of resources:
Dark Site Finder, you might drive north to get to an area with less light pollution.
Moonrise Calendar
Heavens Above, look for satellites, flares, etc to add an element to your night photography.
The Photographer's Ephemeris, use it to figure out the direction of sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset.
posted by gregr at 8:02 AM on March 23, 2017

It depends on what you want to shoot. I love Ft De Soto Park — not only does it have great beaches, but the old fort has been partially consumed by the waters. Away from the beach there are some cool old trees that create interesting light.

Treasure Island has some amazing old mid-century motels with gorgeous neon lights. Also, there is a great dog beach on the south side of the FT De Soto area with a great view of the bridge which might make a nice surise location.
posted by Brittanie at 9:33 AM on March 23, 2017

tampa,st pete,clearwater, that whole area is the same traffic mess.......all of SW Fla for that matter..........
posted by patnok at 1:30 PM on March 23, 2017

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