Last night was the first clear night I have seen in ages, had been hoping since before Christmas to try some star trail and night sky images after seeing some inspirational photos from a guy from California, link below.
This was a trial run and first time photographing the night sky but I am still quite pleased that in short drive less than half hour out into the Wicklow mountains I was even able to see the stars. In the city we glimpse only the brightest but once you get past all the light pollution the sky is glittering with countless stars. Needless to say the orange glow from Tallaght and Dublin city still gobbled up many of the stars but looking the opposite direction the sky was darker.
The first shot has Kippure on the horizon with the Rte mast lit up, some rolling mist or cloud kept moving along the ridge just by the antenna whereas there was no clouds or other mist in the sky. Directly above Kippure the brightest star is actually planet Jupiter, with Taurus below and Orion down lower to the left.
The next shot facing almost the opposite direction I reckon about North North East was the Big Dipper or as I have always known it the Plough.
Finally I tried a technique to merge multiple images and show the star trails over time. This was combined five minutes using ten 30 second images, the stars surprisingly move in such a short time.
If only I had had more time to take an hour or more worth of images as I bet it would give amazing results. Alas I didn't and anyhow it was brass monkeys cold and I didn't have enough layers of clothes to keep from freezing though on the way home couldn't resist taking a few shots in local cemetery, not for the faint hearted :)
I think what I have learned is its cold, bring a torch, more layers of clothes, and allow much more time hours even. Plus driving a little further might yield even better skies further away from the light pollution of Dublin and other cities. Also I have a hint of why some people obsess about the night sky, as it truly is majestic and awe inspiring.
Next time i'll be more prepared!
Inspirational. This timelapse video is just amazing and is what made me interested in trying some night sky images. http://player.vimeo.com/video/45858333?autoplay=1 Link to the author's site: http://goldpaintphotography.com/
Until next time!
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