Lifeboat in the Night

By: Gustav Hoiland

May 19 2010

Category: ocean travel

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Focal Length:18mm
Shutter:30 sec
Camera:NIKON D80

Moonlit Sky

I’ve been meaning to post this one forever. It’s one of my favorites from my trip aboard the container ship, mostly because it’s a bit misleading at first glance. This was shot on the deck outside of the kitchen/dining area where I would often come at night, spoonful of honey in hand, to enjoy in the starlit darkness surrounded by endless ocean all around.

Unlike the metadata shown to the left here, this was not a 1 second exposure, rather it was 30. From that the waves have completely smoothed over, ranging from blown-out white under the moon to near black outside that path. Had the exposure gone for a much longer time, the clouds may also have smoothed out. Instead the closer ones look like they’ve doubled up while the far ones are just blurry. Yes, the nighttime sky is still blue. Except it’s dark enough blue that the human eye thinks its black. Thanks camera.

In front of all of this revealed blue is the great orange lifeboat that seats 30 or so with all of the supplies needed for about 2 weeks of being lost at sea. I’d imagine it would get somewhat claustrophobic being strapped to its walls in 30 foot seas for more than a couple days. All that aside, it’s a 100% warm color. Against the cool background it really pops forward. OK it’s not 3d, but look at it, then look at the sky/sea, then look back at it. It’s almost like a paper cutout. At least to my eye it looks sharply separated from the background.

Notice the lighter stripe of blue on the horizon as it nears the edge of the frame. That was caused by the rocking of the boat, which probably went through a few cycles throughout the half minute.


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