I woke up to see the roofs of neighboring houses covered in a thin layer of wet snow. I don't remember just when we got the first dose of snow last year, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't this early. The day started off overcast but as it cleared up about mid-day, I decided I had to head back to Tyresta National Park for a round of hiking, preferably sans cellphone-lit night marches, this time.
This is the moon, as seen in a two-minute exposure. One doesn't often think about how bright the moon really is, but consider this: The bright part of the moon is directly lit by the sun, and that is being reflected down to earth. What that means is that we're essentially getting the illumination of the ground during a bright summer day sent to us from the moon. Consequently, while one has to have a shutter speed of several seconds when photographing stars, if you want to photograph the moon and see any details, you should set the shutter to 1/80th of a second.
I realize I'm not going to rack up many points among the hardcore hiking crowd when I say that I took the "Baby Stroller Hike"[a], but that's exactly what I did. Just as last time, I followed the trail to the northern point of Bylsjön, but then I turned south and went back along the east side of the lake.
As you can infer from the name, this is hardly a hike at all. The whole five-point-seven kilometers are either gravel trail or wide wooden bridges covering marshes. There's no snow clearing, so parts of the trail was icy - something to think about if you actually are bringing a stroller. Even though there aren't that much vertical movement, the trail surface itself often bends down on the sides, and no effort has been made to keep it horizontal. Other than that the hike is very nice, especially the part close to Bylsjön, as you get some light from the open area, and well, I just like water reflections.
I shot some video this time. One of these days I'll actually edit it into a little clip, but for now it stays on my drive. I managed to reach the park just as the sun set beneath the tree tops, and it was only around Bylsjön that the light was enough to shoot video without noise overpowering the image, so I'll have to grab some more footage before it can be made even reasonably interesting.
Still, this hike turned out to be excellent as a way of practicing video. Since I've spent much more time doing still photography than video, I keep getting frustrated at the peculiarities of video. For example: panning. Somehow, my idea of how panning was done didn't involve actually moving or rotating the camera with your hands - because that would lead to shakiness or an uneven rate of panning. When I first stood with a camera and thought "a horizontal pan would look really good here", my next thought was "my God, I might have to do this with my hands".
So I brought along a stick that I could attach to the handle on my tripod. The theory being that moving the end of the stick a longer distance, faster, would be easier than moving the short handle a shorter distance, slower. It turned out to almost be right. I will still run the clips through my anti-shake solution (hopefully soon to be downloadable from here, along with some other image-processing goodies), but the raw footage turned out better than expected.
I also tried to shoot some video after sunset, but that was just not possible. The best I could do was to film some clouds and a tree line against the blue-pink sky, but even that ended up noisy. Attempting video in the woods after sunset was a non-starter - the histogram had a single pillar at the far left of the chart.