Whitby Whalebones

Whitby Whalebones
Whitby’s old whalebones are on display near the captain Cook monument on the west cliff of Whitby. The original bones were acquired in 1963 by Whitby rural district council which were a gift from a Norwegian shipping company to show the towns whaling past. They were replaced in the 1990s because they were becoming too weathered.

Well that’s the History of the whalebones, now how I made the image and why I liked this composition.

It was the gothic weekend of October 2015. I wanted some night photos of Whitby, so one night I headed for Whitby choosing what I was hoping was the clearest night. I didn’t quite have this shot in mind, the one I was thinking of was a panoramic of the old town but I did notice the laser display from the abbey as I approached the whalebones. A simple natural framing technique used in composition.
This is quite a technical shot to pull off and one which required 2 photographs.
The problem here was I needed a long exposure to record the dark tones in the photo but also been careful not to overexpose the lighting on the jawbones themselves, So there lies the problem. I wanted the laser beams sharp and motionless; the problem is they are on a cycle which sees them moving about the sky, no good for a long exposure; this would record them as a blur. The only way is to play about with setting to get the lasers frozen in time. The trick is to balance ISO, Aperture and shutter speed until a usable image is captured. I found ISO 3200 reasonable but the problem then is increased noise. Fortunately noise lies in the shadows and I only needed the lights of the lasers in this shot so I wasn’t too overly concerned.
The next step was to blend the two images together in Photoshop. It’s fairly straight forward but to long to explain here. I would show this method during an online tutorial which I do as part of my Landscape photography classes.
So that is how I made the shot and one I guess many tourist like to capture but it does look a little more nice lit up at night rather than the day, it just takes a little more effort to make the shot.
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