Rodney Campbell's Blog

Hidden Under the Stars…

by on Sep.21, 2015, under Life, Photography

Our second day in Kununurra and we checked out all the local touristy destinations. That evening however I’d decided to head back to Hidden Valley National Park for a little starry skied action.

The conditions for photographing the stars were getting poorer each day.

– the moon phase was getting on with the moon up around a quarter moon now
– it was also in the sky before sunset so it was always out during my shooting times
– the angle of the milky way was getting much more vertical now so it was harder to shoot a nice arch of stars over the landscape

So I’d use what I could now before it got impossible.

So I drove into Hidden Valley and trekked up the mountain in the dark lugging all my gear (I also brought my iPad, laptop and mobile access point).

Hidden Under the Stars

Hidden Under the Stars

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 4000

This was one of my star trails foreground test shots taken with the bright moon in the sky to my right lighting most of the landscape. I also added a little light painting of the darker foreground below with my torch. The view here is across Hidden Valley with Kununurra itself just off to the right.

+ @ sec at

Note: These images (especially the wider shots) look much better when larger – so click any of the images below to see larger versions in an inline overlay slideshow gallery viewer.

To give you an idea how much of a problem the moon is – here’s a frame including the moon at the edge of frame.



NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 32 sec at f/2.8, ISO 5000

Anyway I took a set of images for a stitched panorama of the milky way arching overhead. I also included myself in the end frame standing and admiring the milky way :).

Then I setup for the star trails and just past 8PM I let it run.

Whilst the intervalometer was doing it’s work I got out my laptop and mobile hotspot and get online. Tonight I was running an online Google Hangout with some of my Arcanum cohort. It’s quite bizarre being out in the dark at the top of a mountain on location chatting with friends via video :).

Still it was an excellent way to while away some of the time. After my hangout I read some material on my iPad before deciding I’d had enough of the cold and the dark. At 10PM and 149 frames later (46 seconds each) I called it a night.

I’m saving these images for an exhibition I’ll be doing with the Parallaxis group next year so this teaser will have to do till then sorry :)…

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