Laurel Mill at Night

I have dreamed of this photo for months and months, finally I was able to make it happen! I first discovered Laurel Mill using Google Maps last summer. I made one trip out to attempt to photograph it and was disheartened to find “No Trespassing” signs all over. As I’ve stated before, as a professional photographer I believe it is important to respect other peoples property, so I decided not to shoot it that night. After some research, I was able to find the address of the owner and wrote him a letter. To my surprise, he actually called me back and gave me permission to shoot there anytime. Now I just had to wait for the right night – clear skies. I finally got the opportunity last Friday night…

The sky is a blend of around 225 exposures, each at 30 seconds long. The foreground (water and mill) is a single exposure that is 2 minutes long. There was no moon and the road was too far away for car lights to light the mill. I had to do the 2 minute exposure to get a foreground with enough detail and light. I was beginning to get worried that the mist rising from the water due to the exceptionally cool evening would fog the lens or ruin the scene. Instead, I think it adds a nice softness to that area of the image. Exposure details are below.

Blend of 225 exposures.
30 seconds
ISO 1600

122 seconds
ISO 3200

The foreground was photographed first, followed immediately by the 200+ sky exposures.