Last Saturday presented the ideal night for astrophotography. Very cold & clear and no moon to get in the way. I was off for stargazing with my group HantsAstro. We had a wonderful few hours enjoying the enormous night sky in our premium site Butser Ancient Farm (BAF). Although travelling up & down from where I live takes nearly 3 hours, I always loved our little gatherings as it gives the opportunity to chill-out and enjoy night sky from a very dark site undisturbed by the street/city lights. And photos like the below are testimonials of how remarkable the whole experience is.
Now, it’s time to talk about the photo. As I visited the place before, I had this idea locked on to me hence knew exactly what I was after. Selecting the perspective for the photo took about 30 minutes. I wanted to capture the stars while the sky was clear hence started with the sky first; set the camera to capture 200 shots 30 seconds each, 3 seconds apart (F 2.8, ISO 1000). That was for the star trails. Then came the time for foreground. During the two hours + , while camera was busy capturing stars, I worked out exactly how I wanted to light this beautiful “medieval-hut”. I took about 30 to 40 photos lighting the hut and the surrounding the way I want. I always love this part of the photo shoot (technically “light-painting”) the most because it’s the bit that brings creativity in to the whole scene. Each and every lighting stroke had to be meticulously planned and executed and most importantly examined in the camera before going to the next. Yes, same small piece of the hut/surrounding had to be lit over and over again sometimes till I got it perfect; but I loved every bit of it because when it comes up in camera display exactly the way I want, I cannot really explain the joy it brings :).
I used white light from my small torch for most of the light painting. An additional warm yellow colour-gel was used to light the Interior of the hut. For these shots, I set the camera to F8 and ISO 800; exposure time of course was different from one shot to the other.
Nothing much to say about post processing apart from being bit creative. To sum-up, 230 + exposures in one photo;
Am I pleased with the end result? .. YES I am 🙂 ; I sincerely believe the photo did justice to the beautiful Site and the awesome night we enjoyed.
Hope you will like it too..
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