Exploring the Tyrella area of County Down is generally an activity confined to daylight hours. I felt it was time to venture out at the extremes of the day in attempt to see it differently.

Developing my low light technique is something I want to focus on (excuse the pun) in 2014. It is a completely different approach and considerably more unforgiving than I expected.

The Mournes

I ventured out with the Fujifilm X-E2, 23mm and 14mm lenses. Read my review of the Fuji X-E2. Shooting at night is a different type of long exposure photography where you need to have the shutter open long enough for the landscape that is in total darkness to impact on the sensor.

The problem, at the same time, is there can be very bright sources of light that have a major impact on the image when the shutter is open for so long.

Newcastle lights, County down

I had visualised the scene with the Mournes under a sky full of stars but I hadn’t considered the town lighting of Kilkeel and Newcastle running along the base of the mountain line.

It was a great learning experience and there are things I will do differently when shooting at night in the future. I wanted to bring out the stars and mountains so probably should have used my Lee Filter Seven5 system and a graduated filter (with the clearest section at the top) to tone down the lights from the town.



It was my first trip out with the ioShutterSLR that allows me to connect my iPhone to the X-E2. It is a powerful little system that offers timer, bulb, timelapse, sound trigger and shake to capture, better still it offers combination of these features to play together. I am particularly excited about the sound trigger system and suspect I will be playing with it in the future.

Normally, if I need to capture shots longer than 30 seconds (T mode offers up to 30seconds) I would use the ‘bulb mode’ with my cable release and watch the timer on the back of the camera. The ioShutterSLR app allows me to use bulb mode but set the duration of the capture. It is great tool, easy to use and exceptionally useful for very long exposure image capture, it reduces the level of concentrated need for using bulb mode.

Tyrella stars

The one, additional essential piece of equipment that made life easy (and safer) was a little head torch I got free with a magazine subscription. The moon was bright but there isn’t much ambient light along the Northern Ireland coastline.

It wasn’t as clear a night as I was hoping for but the best for a number of weeks.


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Fuji X-E2 Review

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