VMFA Night Lights

One of my favorite parts of Summer is the time you have to explore.  I love to use this time away teaching to be spontaneous and take adventures.  The other day while sitting around with Sterling and my friend Jessie, we were talking about how beautiful the VMFA (Virginia Museum of Fine Arts) is, especially the grounds surrounding it.  They have these sculptures and fountains surrounding the museum that I never noticed it until I went to the Van Gogh exhibit just last week.  As I mentioned to them that I really wanted to take my camera out there in the morning and get long exposures of their waterfall stairs Jessie mentioned that the water fountains light up at night!  Who knew?  Not me! So we made a plan, we’d meet up right around sunset to sit on benches and enjoy the night scenes of the VMFA.

Naturally I brought my tripod and my camera for what I thought would be some fun long exposure images.  When I got there though and saw how well lit the water was I decided to take a different approach.  Instead I set my shutter speed to 1/1000 (very fast) and tried to capture these small water fountains in every detail.  I didn’t expect to get what I did but I LOVE them!  They are crazy different than anything I’ve taken before and while they might not be something I frame and hang on a wall, I think they are really neat.

 In case you’re reading this and wanting to try it out on your own, I put my settings for each type of image at the very bottom 🙂

The VMFA also has their outdoor gardens lit so beautifully!

You know you have a great boyfriend when he is willing to do cartwheels over and over and over again for you, in the dark, in a park, in public… haha 🙂 

Settings: (Ps. these may not be ideal, they are just what I liked best after my many trials)
Fountain images: 
ISO: 1250
Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec
Aperture: f/ 1.8

Gardens: 
ISO: 1000
Shutter Speed: 1/20 sec
Aperture: f/ 1.8

Sterling’s Cartwheels 
ISO: 2000
Shutter Speed: 1/400 sec
Aperture: f/ 1.4

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