The Photographer's Ephemeris

Dallas Arboretum
Chihuly Nights


Tickets the Dallas Arboretum's "Garden Gigs" must be purchased in advance.

Tickes are $10 for non-members and $8 for members.

Considerations for the evening photo shoot: recommended Equipment, Recommended Settings, where are the best locations for sunsets, and what would be the best route.


Recommended Equipment

  1. Tripod
  2. Remote Shutter Release
  3. Camera
  4. Extra charged batteries.
  5. Extra flash card just in case
  6. A flash to take pictures of the musicians if desired
  7. on a full frame camera: Lenses in the 24mm to 200mm range; a fast 50mm lens
    on an APS-c camera: a 18 to 135 mm range; a fast 30 mm lens


Recommended Settings

  1. Daylight white balance. Daylight balanced LED lights were installed throughout the garden.
  2. Exposure red, orange and yellow flowers will be 2/3 to 2 stops under exposed. The most accurate way to confirm a good exposure is with the RGB histogram available on most cameras. If the red channel is bunched on the right then lower the exposure. The symptom is the colors smear into blobs with no texture. Some call it over saturation. The reality is it is simply over exposure. Our camera meters lie to us sometimes.
  3. To minimize noise we need the lowest ISO possible. Long exposures will be required. Mirror lockup or live view should be used for shots are in the 1/30 to 1/2 second range. This can be a challenge with Automatic Exposure Bracketing. By using live view the mirror is locked up through the entire sequence.
  4. The light at night can be a challenge for auto focusing. Consider using live view to focus exactly where desired.
  5. Guessing the appropriate aperture for the desired depth of field is a challenge. Consider acquiring one or more of the "depth of field" calculators available for modern phones.
  6. For the sunset pictures we will be shooting with the widest aperture available.



Sunset is at 8:32 PM. The images below were created using "The Photographer's Ephemeris". Highly recommended!

In my opinion, the best location for sunset pictures are behind the Women's Garden Reflecting Pool shown below. Another option is the North side of the Cool Thursday Concert lawn.



A recommended route

Before sunset I would like to follow a route through the children's frontier garden. There are some old time cabins and artifacts that will make good images.

The objective is to be at the women's garden pool not later than 8:15. If the cloud gods are willing, we can get some terrific pictures down low off the reflecting pool.

About 8:45 we can drift North through the grotto area and the Maple Rill. The daylight (moon light) balanced LED tree lights will be lit. We should be able to capture some etheral moon light scenes before the 9:30 PM closing.