Photographer: Neil Folberg

Last week I was looking through a number of past LensWork issues, primarily looking for some photography related quotes for the FocalPower’s photography quote archive. I also came across one of my favorite portfolios in LensWork Issue 53, Neil Folberg’s Celestial Nights: Visions of an Ancient Land. (click on Gallery > Representing > Neil Folberg > Celestial Nights… — this is the perfect example of why I don’t like flash.).

The images in that Folberg was able to capture in this portfolio are amazing (try to find a copy of the LensWork issue to really appreciate them in print). I specifically like the night time landscapes with their dreamlike feel. And the fact that he captured the night time landscapes using long exposures and then digitally combined them with tracking long term exposures of the sky provide very nature look. Just like what we would see if we were there.

“What’s he talking about,” you ask? Look at a few of his images, specifically or Ancient Olive Press or Ballistra. Notice how the landscape is exposed to see the details? Long exposure time. But how did he keep the starts pin sharp? That’s where the digital manipulation comes in. He took one exposure of the landscape, and then another of the sky…but with his camera mounted on a tripod configured with a telescope’s computer tracking mechanism. As the earth rotated, the tracking mechanism on the tripod compensated for the earth’s movement and kept the celestial bodies in focus.

Unless this is called out, you probably wouldn’t even notice it. This is the beauty of it. At first I just get lost in the images. Only when my photographer side snaps to do I think about “how did he do that?”. That can be one of the tormenting things about being a photographer…you tend to forget how to not be a photographer when looking at other’s work…sometimes you have to remind yourself to just enjoy the images.

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