Shots fired, photographer scared!
The shallow valley near Nowra, Australia, where I captured this photo is isolated, sparsely populated and very, very quiet when there’s no wind blowing. On the night that I visited, in late October of 2019, the lack of wind rendered the area still and silent. The clear air gave me fantastic conditions to photograph the Milky Way and Jupiter as they began to merge with the southwestern horizon.
There is a farmhouse out-of-frame on the right, on the far side of the valley from where I set up my camera. The people who live in that house have at least two dogs, and those dogs have EXCELLENT hearing, I discovered. Any time I made a noise, like when I scraped my tripod’s leg along the road accidentally, the dogs would bark. They would bark, and keep barking, and then bark some more.
After around five minutes of the dogs continually barking, I heard the owner’s voice bark back, telling them to shut up. When the dogs kept at it, the owners’ voice barked some more, too. A moment after that, I saw a muzzle-flash and then heard the delayed report from the man’s gun. Was he shooting at me? Was he shooting at the dogs? Whatever the guy was doing, another muzzle flash and its accompanying blast let me know that he was doing it again. What should I do now? Should I duck, or run, or bundle my gear into my car and leave?
The gunshots had the desired effect and quieted the dogs, so I waited a few minutes and went back to my kind of shooting. For this “shot”, I used a canon rather than a gun. That “canon” was my Canon EOS 6D Mk II camera, a Rokinon 24mm f/1.4 lens @ f/2.4, using an exposure time of 15 seconds @ ISO 3200.