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Waldweide at Night

I had to cut this trip short as I was under-dressed for the evening. I should know better by now, and I am usually prepared, but for some reason, I wasn't this time. It's probably because the last time I was at this location, I had overdressed.

First and foremost, never underestimate the temperature.

The general rule of thumb I follow is, think of what you'd wear for a hike, double up, and add an insulated seating mat. Once you're at the location, you are not going to be moving around that much, so wrap up more.

There were several reasons for the trip. The location, I wanted to see how it was at night. The night sky, it was close to a new moon and there was a clear night forecast (this rarely happens when I have time), and I wanted to see how the Olympus is in low light, clear and nearly moon free night.

So far I've been very impressed with it, and I am starting to consider whether I could potentially replace the Sony system completely.

I do have some issues, but I feel that these are more to do with me, and my current level of understanding of the camera, than the camera itself.

  • The live view on the Olympus is not as good as the one on the Sony, this may be because I haven't got the settings tuned yet.

  • While using it in low light, I had the feeling that the manual focus ring was more sensitive. This doesn't make much sense to me so I have to try this again. It could have been caused by my shivering!


There was a lot going on, on this night. When I left home I saw a Pine Martin running down the street, and then a second one while driving through Waldenburg up the Waldweide. After I arrived at the site a bat flew directly at me. I heard the sounds of foxes coming from where I had parked my car. A little later there was grunting and light footsteps (or is it hoof steps) coming from across the field, that appeared to get closer, I think that it was Wild Boar. Then there were the movements in the forest behind where I had set up, possibly Deer, and on the drive back a fox laying next to the road rolling around in the dirt. All of this and not one of them caught in an image.

  • 1st Pine Marten - Camera in bag

  • 2nd Pine Marten - Driving and camera in the bag

  • 1st Fox - Too far away

  • Wild Boar - Even with the ISO right up and the aperture wide open, it was so dark that I could not see anything

  • Deer - In the forest, no chance

  • 2nd Fox - Driving and camera in the bag again

I think that I should learn from this that I should walk everywhere with a camera-ready at all times! Although I would have loved to get an image of any of them, it's not really that important, the experience up there was amazing.


Anyway, that's enough about what I didn't manage to capture, and over to what I was able to get.

The first shot from this night was created with the Olympus. It is a composite of two images. The sky shot at 15 secs and the foreground at 60 secs. There are elements that could be improved, but it's not a bad start.

The next image was taken using the inbuilt interval function. The composition is terrible but I was just seeing how it worked. It is a composite of 99 images with the same exposure. The results look really promising, and I'm looking forward to trying it again. Obviously this kind of image would have to be a combined with another image to bring out the foreground.

The next was taken with the Sony while waiting for the previous image to finish.

The rest of the dark night was spent trying out different functions and techniques, as well as wondering what was walking around in the forest behind me.

I love the time just before sunrise, the colours are never the same and so fascinating.

There will be more to come soon. Now that I have a new passport, I'll be able to go back to France and over to the Vosges to follow the Chamois.


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