This is my hometown called Kauniainen. It´s a small town and home of only 9 000 inhabitants located inside a bigger (more than 200 000 inhabitants strong) Espoo. Together with Helsinki and Vantaa they form the Helsinki metropolitan area, home to more than 1 million people.
I shot this photo with my Mavic Pro drone in one October friday night. Because this local sports stadium is really close to my home, I had been driving or running by it during twilight many times during this fall. I figured that if they turned on the stadium lights just as the sun was going down, it would give a nice light when the field would be fully lit and the neighborhood behind it not yet fully dark.
Waiting for the lights
I came from work when it was starting to get dark. I drove to the parking lot and sat in my car waiting for perfect light – and for them to maybe turn on the lights. There were people running on the track and kids playing football in the field so I was hopeful they would light it up. But time went on and the perfect lighting came. But no-one was there to turn the lights on! So I started my car and thought I´d come back another day. Just as I was backing away from parking spot this guy walked on te field and continued towards the maintenance building. Perhaps he was there to turn on the lights? I parked my car again and waited. And yes! The lights came on.
Night photos with DJI Mavic Pro drone
So I fired up my Mavic Pro and shot few photos from different sides of the field. And luckily I got this one just right! It´s not really easy to shoot night photos with DJI Mavic Pro. It does not have as good night photography features as the new Mavic Pro 2 models. And it basically needs to be perfectly still while shooting the photos – otherwise you´ll get motion blur and the shot is ruined. I figured out that once you fly the drone up to the position for shooting the photo, just let it chill for a few seconds. It tries to stabilize itself and once it has done it as good as it can, you can press the button and hope wind doesn´t cause any drifting whatsoever.
I shot multiple frames from different angles that night. Almost 2/3 of them were too blurred to be useful. Luckily I got this and couple of other frames that had everything from focus to exposure just right.
Editing in Photoshop
Obviously this kind of photo requires a bit post production in Photoshop. What I did here I decreased the highlights a little to make the colourful sky come out, reduced contrast to allow the background (check out the trees for example) to come out and added saturation to green colors to make the sports field stand out a little bit more. I also increased the temperature a bit.
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This is Kauniainen sports field on the map: