Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

Photographing Malibu Canyon at Night

This weekend Danté & I wanted to end Sunday with sunset at Point Dume in Malibu. A heavy layer of marine fog meant than sunset wasn’t visible at sea level. Switching gears to a spot we discovered because of the Explorest app, we drove up into the hills instead. I paid for full access to the app when we moved to California, and I’m glad I did. It’s been worth every penny and we use it a lot as we get to know our new home.

Once in the hills above the fog, we found the most stunning colors in the sky. And after some twists and turns, eventually this vista above Malibu Canyon that we stayed at for a long time. We were completely enthralled with the view.Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

The small pullout was already full of other photographers when we first parked. As the night wore on, people came and went but we stayed to try and get the Milky Way since it is so close to a new moon. The fog left, then it came back. Eventually the sky clouded over so much that it was clear the Milky Way wasn’t ever going to be fully visible.

But it didn’t really matter. The effect of being in that spot for as long as we were is that I was so profoundly grateful to be so close to home and yet feel so far away from a big city. Grateful and thankful.

Technical Notes on Shooting at this Location

…Now the effect of us doing long exposure is that it looks almost alarming in a sense. But nothing is on fire here! And there’s no destruction. What looks like it could be attributed to wildfire or lava, when looking at this image, is in fact the effect of the lights from cars captured at a 20 second exposure through the fog. Danté & I thought it looked more like Hawaii when we were standing here taking photos but it is in fact California.

Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

This is one of the images that Danté captured at a 30 second exposure using his Sony a7RIII, the Zeiss Batis 18mm lens & one of our Vanguard tripods.  Check out his Instagram account for more.Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

I was using the Sony a7RII, 24-70mm f/2.8 lens at 15 and 20 second intervals, playing with ISO 100 to 500 on our Vanguard tripod. As I’ve talked about before, the brand often sends me equipment to test but we have also purchased from the brand ourselves.Using Explorest App to Discover Malibu at Night - Kirsten Alana

About the Explorest App

Explorest wants to help photographers find new locations to shoot. They describe the app as a database of photo locations, submitted by local photographers who get a cut of the in-app purchase revenue in exchange for their contributions. You can learn more with my profile here. Download it for iOS here.

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