It is amazing how good cameras are these days with capturing scenes in very low light. I learned this while I was doing my farm book project and I had to get pictures inside dark barns and sheds. But I am still amazed at what I get when I am taking the pictures. The hardest part of taking these pictures is not listening to the loud part of your brain that is screaming at you for being such an idiot for even thinking about photographing in so little light. Once you can ignore all the mental noise you will be shocked at how good the pictures are.
These were taken with my Nikon D300 at ISO 1600. There is a bit of noise in the dark areas but not too much and not enough that can’t be washed out with various noise reduction programs.
The reason I took these pictures at night is because that is when the lobster boats were going out! I was in Stonington, Maine working on the book project a couple of weeks ago in mid-January. Stonington is one of the few places that actively lobsters in winter but to do so they have to go 30 to 40 miles offshore in 300 to 500 feet of water. This means 2 hours of traveling just to get to their first pot! So they take on fuel and bait at 4:30 am and come back at 6 or 7 pm.
If you want to get pictures of winter lobstering you got to get up when they do and get the pictures you can. Best dress warm because it is very cold. On this morning it was 8 degrees and there was a breeze blowing off the water. My hands got very cold but the pictures were worth it. Besides, what else are you doing at 4:30 in the morning?