Rodney Campbell's Blog

Sleeping Under the Stars…

by on Dec.02, 2015, under Life, Photography

I’d already had a fantastic day shooting these amazing gorges and natural beauty here at Dales. Still there was no time for sleeping – with such spectacular opportunities on offer how could I let any chance slip by.

Moonrise wasn’t till 9:37PM tonight and we were so soo sooo out in remote dark skies territory here. No time for shooting star trails yet but some static milky way action was on offer. I didn’t have the energy to do something spectacular (or crazy) like shooting stars from within one of the gorges. However I could forgo sleeping just a little and step outside and shoot from next to the van :).

The milky way was almost vertical in the sky at this time (of year and time of night) and the galactic core was almost directly above us. I wanted to do another arch of stars over… something… but it was going to be incredibly difficult.

I figured I’d start the proceedings off at 8:30PM with a vertical panorama instead. The following is a vertical stitch of five (5) horizontal frames taken with the Samyang 14mm at 30 sec at f/2.8 and ISO 8000. You read that right ISO 8000 – very very dark skies here – perfectomundo. I even included our van at the bottom. The frames are all manually composed and taken – overlaps are a guess 🙂 – stitched nicely tho.

Sleeping Under the Stars

Sleeping Under the Stars

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 8000 x 5 Frames

I then moved a little and took some vertical frames for a horizontal archway of stars (over the only thing I had in the clearing near us – the loo building :)). My aim was for the loo to be in the centre with the arch going high overhead and I’d call it “A Loo with a View”.

Alas I took these frames like I’ve done most of these off horizontal panoramas with the 14mm – by hand and by eye – guessing the actual framing and overlap. Finally my luck ran out – I’d been doing so well so far. The six source frames didn’t really successfully stitch properly and they also didn’t really extend up far enough to cover the top of the arch properly. An opportunity lost unfortunately.

I think when I took the frames at the time I had an inkling they weren’t going to work properly so I also tried some shots pointing almost straight up. I was looking to have the slash of the milky way running diagonally across the whole frame with the galactic core on show. Here is one of those frames shot at ISO 8000.

Spacial Rift

Spacial Rift

NIKON D750 + 14.0 mm f/2.8 @ 14 mm, 30 sec at f/2.8, ISO 8000

Just one more thing to do before sleeping…

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