Speed Limit

Suburban/rural landscape photograph

Leaving – View from parking lot of 4-Star Meats, game butchers.


As you head north out of Eugene, the city lumbers on for a while before the space between the buildings finally begins to stretch out. This is about the spot where that happens on Prairie Road. Office buildings and warehouses, and the mini-marts that serve the people who work in them, give way to businesses like the 4-Star Meat Company, a family-owned butcher shop that turns your bow-hunted elk into steaks and sausages. Also, there’s not much traffic going through here after 5:30 or so, but what there is, is going a lot faster than 40 mph.

Signal-to-noise ratio

Outbuilding and tractor beside slough on Carol Avenue

Stillness (outbuilding and tractor beside slough on Carol Avenue)

Reminding me that I’m a rank amateur: I’ve had this Sony A6000 for a little over four months and am still discovering technical issues and–I hope–solutions. Last night I shot this 30-second exposure and threw it into Lightroom (image processing program) when I got home. Without Lightroom adjustments it was nearly pitch black, so I opened up the dark areas using the sliders, and on top of that increased the exposure by a full stop.

Although I like the result–it matches, more or less, what my eyes saw while I was parked on the side of the pothole-pitted road–at anything approaching 1:1 magnification or greater there’s an awful lot of noise (weird-colored speckles) in both the sky and the field. This hasn’t been a problem in my other long exposures, and since I just got the camera back from the shop with a clean sensor, I naturally suspected the sensor cleaning was at fault.

But after extensive online reading, I saw that my downfall was probably due to bracketing the exposures. That is, I set the camera to automatically take a 15-second shot followed by a 4-second and then a 30-second shot. When you turn on automatic bracketing, Sony’s in-camera noise reduction program is turned off. All my previous successful long exposures had been single shots–I remember, because when the noise reduction program runs, you have to wait about as long as your exposure took AFTER the shutter closes before you can shoot again while the program does its cleaning up.

Of course I’ll go out tonight and test that theory.


Things look different in the dark


The Amber Lights


This beauty salon–I keep coming back to it, I suppose because it looks so lonely and stoic on its expanse of asphalt. I wanted to capture the recessed lighting in the front eaves, but about a week ago somebody turned them off. Or they burned out. Still, I like the reflections in the window.

The people in the coffee booth have seen me parking in front of this little building multiple times a week, and probably wonder what I’m up to.