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After a gloriously sunny day today there wasn??t a single cloud in the sky tonight, allowing the stars to sparkle brightly in the almost moonless sky. Faced with a choice between a huge pile of ironing or going out to shoot some star photos it was a bit of a no-brainer so I headed out with my camera. I knew exactly where I wanted to go ?? to visit my favourite tree up at Goodwood. I knew I??d need to illuminate it if I was to make it visible in my photos so I stopped off at the supermarket on the way to buy a large torch for the purpose.

In all I spent about 90 minutes shooting, with my camera on a tripod and using my remote to set five minute exposures to take exactly nine frames. I carefully painted the tree with light from my torch for a couple of minutes of each exposure then left the camera to capture the ambient light from the stars. I didn??t stand a chance of focussing on the tree in the dark so I used the DoF Calculator app I??ve downloaded to my iPhone to calculate the aperture needed to ensure the tree was within my depth of field.

I??m not given to frequently pondering deep and meaningful things but, looking up at all the stars this evening, it did occur to me how amazing it was to be standing there looking at light which started its journey to us millions of years ago. I wonder what aliens from those distant galaxies (if they exist) would think of me standing there in pitch darkness, in sub-zero temperatures taking pictures of their stars!

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    There are 10 comments, add yours!

    • # Dorothe

      WOW, great idea and very nice result. The way you focused works well. You could also focus with the torch (modus manual focussing)

      2010.03.06 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Kelly Lamaster

      Helen, this is absolutely stunning! Impressive how much calculation it took to get, also! Makes me want to try harder!

      2010.03.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # John Nelson

      Love this in Black & White! Great lighting on the tree to bring it out of the darkness, too! Well done!

      2010.03.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Moira

      They'd think " She's got her priorities in the right place!!!:)"
      Great shot and this beats my excuses ten thousand folds for not doing the ironing!!!!!!:)

      2010.03.05 Edited Reply Cancel

    • # Sara G

      Love the illumination of the tree! I like to take the dog out at night and look up at those gorgeous stars...feels so relaxing :-)

      2010.03.05 Edited Reply Cancel