Winter Lights

Photographer offers tips on night photography (and more).

It was an unusually warm winter night at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Christine Neff Kojetin spent hours with her Nikon D750 at the Bruce Munro: Winter Light exhibit, looking for a perfect angle to capture the event’s glamour.

Eventually, she was satisfied with how her picture, Bruce Munro Winter Lights, winner of the Activities and Events category in the Southwest Metro Magazine Photo Contest, restores the magic of the moment. “I like it overall—like the vibrant color of the sculpture juxtaposed with the trees and the sky in the background,” Kojetin says.

Kojetin says managing the exposure is the most challenging aspect of the process. “It is dark, and you need longer exposure to get enough ambient light and to get the light of the sculptures,” she says. For night photography, Kojetin emphasizes the critical role of a tripod with a cable release or a self-timer. This is because darkness necessitates long exposure, a procedure during which the camera is best kept still to ensure the sharpness of the image. She also recommends using a fast lens or a large aperture lens, to get more light in. “It is not critical, but it helps,” she says.

 “The arboretum is one of my favorite places to shoot,” Kojetin says. She appreciates the constantly changing sceneries of the locale, which provide visual interest. In addition, she also enjoys recording the skylines in downtown Minneapolis or the star trails of the North Shore in Duluth.

Besides interacting with wildlife and landscape, Kojetin is interested in preserving moments among families and their children through her camera lens. Looking back, Kojetin says her passion for photography all started with a touching moment of life.

“It started with me having kids,” she says, “You start wanting to take great pictures of your children.”

And as that passion grows, she continues to present us with photos alive with her loving attention to daily life.