Rancho Seco Power Plant, Steam, Cropped, Long Exposure

ISO800, 55mm, f/10, 8 sec
Rancho Seco, Sacramento County, CA

There is a lot of laziness (or short-sighted thinking) going on with this photograph.  Let me count the ways…

(click through the image to see more details of what can be captured at night in 700px)

  1. Using a 18-55mm wide-angle lens and not switching to the 55-200mm lens for close-ups.  The jet of steam coming off the side of the tallest stack is worth at least a few compositions.  Of course, that leads to…
  2. Having to severely crop the original photograph and throwing away valuable pixels in the process.  While I may never need to print this photo, by throwing away so many pixels, I am limiting how large I can print before jagged pixelation and/or graininess become very evident.
  3. While it worked out in the end, I pretty much went through all the exposure times from 2.5 seconds all the way to 60 seconds.  I was not sure how much of the sodium vapor lights were going to appear “blown out” especially as seen through the camera’s LCD screen.  So I shot a variety of long exposures and expected to have something workable once I got into Lightroom to process.

Sure, it was 30 degrees (F), almost 2am, and I was half waiting to have security pounce on me since this power plant is on the grounds of a former nuclear power plant.  But still… lazy.

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 55mm (photo greatly cropped), ISO 800, 8 sec, f/10

Rancho Seco Power Plant, Steam, Cropped, Long Exposure. December 29, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.

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