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Friday, 26 August 2011

Canadian Star Trail Image

Now THIS is what I call a good star trail shot.

Yuichi Takasaka captures the Aurora Borealis in his star trail image over Sugar Lake, BC, Canada.

If it wasn't for the moon, the car headlights and not knowing the aurora would appear I'm pretty sure my standing stone photograph would have been some fierce competition. Haha!!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Orkney Startrails and other surprises!

I went out to the Ring O Brodgar to try some startrails shots tonight. It was to be a clear sky and what better foreground interest than an ancient standing stone?

Despite being in the middle of nowhere I encountered a few similar problems as when I tried to do them at Beecraigs. Car headlights, super bright moon (you can see the horrible burnt out area on the right that I couldn't rid of with my current software), unable to see anything through the viewfinder so having to guess the composition and so on....

I have to say, watching the moon-rise was pretty amazing. I spotted a wierd orange dot appear over the hills and it kept getting bigger and bigger until I realised it was the moon. It would have been fabulous to have taken shots of it every 10 minutes on the same negative.

(I'll download the image from my compact and if it's decent enough I'll put it on here)

So, whilst I was taking the startrail shot I was watching the gorgeous night sky and what occurs????? The Aurora Borealis!!!
It wasn't strong but it lasted longer than when I first saw it. The photo didn't take very well as it was so faint but at least I managed to catch something on camera this time.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Light Painting

Since I never got a shot of the Aurora Borealis I thought it was time to try out some light painting shots.

I had a lot of fun taking these images and, althought they haven't worked out too well, I think I now have a fair idea of how to do them next time. Next stop (if I have time) is to shoot next to one of the lakes in the evening or at the standing stones. That's if my models are up for it again.

I'd like to thank Chris and Fleur for helping me out with this project, feeding me, being there for me and for making my stay in Orkney so much better than I had expected. I'm going to miss you guys enormously.

Aurora Borealis!

How amazing it would be to have managed a photograph of the Merry Dancers.
I hadn't realised they were happening until I read this -

(Image by John Vetterlein)

So, I packed up my camera gear, filled up my flask and went up to Wideford Hill to set up my camera in the hope that I would see the Northern Lights.
I was so excited when I saw the first flash of green dancing out from behind some cloud. I was told that it would be really slow to begin with and then build up so I didn't hit the shutter release straight away.

Unfortunately, the lights only danced for about 4 seconds and then disappeared. Sigh!! I lay out for several hours watching the Perseids shoot by and waiting for another show but the lights never re-appeared.

I tried a few more nights at different spots but, apart from a green coloured sky one night, there was nothing. Oh well, 4 seconds is better than none.