Sunlight at night

The picture below is of the International Space Station flying over our location on June 14th, 2011.  

ISS flyover - 30sec exposure

This next one is a picture looking East from my deck.  The line on the picture are the landing lights of a plane making its approach to the Colorado Spring’s airport.

So, what’s so interesting about this?  Those shots were both taken at 11:00pm or so, as are all the others in this post.

If you click on the first picture to get the full res version at SmugMug, you will see little bright smudges.  Those are star trails resulting from the Earth’s rotation.  For all you Flat Earth believers out there, imagine we are spinning on a record platter . . . sorry . . . CD player.

For these shots I had my D7000 set at ISO 1000, and a full moon was shining.  The long exposure and high ISO combined to gather a lot of light . . . sunlight, that is, reflecting from the moon.

Here is a picture of our neighbor’s back yard.  This was only a 10 second exposure.

Neighbor's yard, 10 seconds exposure

Since moonlight is reflected sunlight, that is how the camera’s sensor registers it, and as long as you have a sufficient exposure, it will be indistinguishable from sunlight during the day.  The only thing that gives it away is the overexposed lights from buildings, and as in the case for the pictures below, the fact the clouds are blurry due to their movement during the long exposure.

My front yard at night

This next one has the moon just off-frame on the upper left corner, and shows my front flower bed and driveway lights.

Front flower bed and driveway

So, when the sun drops below the horizon, and if there is a moon up, remember you can still go out and snap some pictures.

But if you rather, click on the pictures above and go and see the 17 photos album on SmugMug.