8hours, f5.6, Nikon FM2, Nikkor 24/2, Fuji Provia 100f
Since I started to plan my trip to Socotra, I had a picture in my mind with start rails and with the Dragon blood trees.
The best place was for it the Diksam plateau. There the trees weren’t so crowded like in Firmhin so I could photograph some individuals.
I had one week to make it. During this week I slept every night under this tree.
I planed to down eight hour exposure, so I had only one chance per night. One shot per night. Sounds nice, isn’t it?:)
I set up my tripod in a fixed place. I marked the place with stones. I also marked the place where I planed to stand to light paint the tree. In this way I managed to put back my tripod always in the same place.
It was important to make everything from the same distance day by day, otherwise the illumination would had been different.
First, I made some test shots with my digital camera. I used the same ISO and f numbers with the digital, what I wanted to use with the analog.
So like this, I could check the position of the northern star, and how much time do I need to paint the tree with light.
I made the red light with my head lamp. I chose the red color, over the white LED light. Somehow it just fit better to the name “Dragon blood tree”.
I didn’t know that the sky will be red either. I just noticed it when I got the developed slides in my hands. And I am not sure what caused it. Maybe it was atmosphere in that season, in that place, or the Fuji Provia has this color after eight hour. I don’t really know.
Actually it was my first roll with such a long exposures.
I could produce around five frames. From these there was only one, what was good enough. Some of them was over exposed by the red light (When I saw the results I realized that in some cases, the slide is more sensitive than the digital sensor.), some of them become hazy because some moisture condensed on my lens. And sometimes a car ruined the background with it’s lights.
In the future I really would like to experiment more with such a long exposure. And I would never do it with digital.
I am planing to go back to Socotra, and I hope I will make some new, some better ones:)