”Flags, rags ferryboats, scimitars and scarves
Every precious dream and vison, underneath the stars”
The Whole of the Moon – The Waterboys
Edit: Thanks to ^ScENeYmE
for suggesting this as a DD and to ^Anoya
for featuring it. I appreciate itThe Photo
Experimental shot really, I just wanted to see how well this would come out.
Last weekend my wife and I were driving to the south, and as we’d left home so late, I didn’t really have any hope of getting any shots in the beautiful landscape of Alentejo.
It was a clear night, and the stars were really visible even from the motorway as this part of Portugal doesn’t really have any significant towns, so I decided to give this technique a try.
We turned off the motorway and I found a road on the GPS that looked as though it was as far away from any villages as possible to keep light pollution to a minimum.
Climbing over a barbed wire fence in the darkness and avoiding the cow shite was an adventure, and then trying to find a composition and focus when I couldn’t see a thing was challenging, to say the least.
The moon was out though, and after 10 minutes my eyes had got so used to the light, that I could make out my own shadow from the moonlight, and find an uncluttered composition that would give the sky some context.
I opened the lens wide to f2.8 and set the camera to ISO1600. I figured there was zero chance of blowing highlights and wanted to get as much light in as possible so set the shutter to 30 seconds. I could have gone down a stop of ISO, but I thought that much longer than 30 seconds the stars would start to move (which they actually have done a little on the corner of the frame).
So this is actually a panorama of 2 horizontal shots to get as much of the sky in as possible, and the lighter part on the left is caused by moonlight, which was at my left shoulder. The orange glow is actually the ambient light from the village of Ourique, about 10 kilometers away….I’d like to tell you that I composed for the glow to be behind the two trees, but that’s just luck.
You can just make out the gases in the galaxy, but I really needed it to be darker to bring this out properly.
As I said, this is just an experiment to try out a technique. Next time I want to be in a place where there’s no ambient light, and also shooting without moonlight. I also want to have arranged the composition beforehandMetadata
Taken near Ourique, Alentejo, Portugal
Nikon D3 w/ Nikkor 17-35mm 2.8
Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead
30s | f2.8 | ISO1600 | 17mm
Workflow in Apple Aperture 2. Title in PSThanks in advance for any comments or faves. Sadly, I no longer have time to reply to individual comments, but I do appreciate people taking the time to look.
Any questions, please note me.