Tag Archives: star trails

2015 – April: night time

I thought that I would take the Canon out for a spin; I also wanted to see how the Sony to Canon adapter worked in the darkness.

Neither of us we particularly healthy, so we just stayed local – Abercorn.

Abercorn is a beautiful little hamlet, boarding the grounds of Hopetoun House, and has access to the Firth of Forth.

It’s also a great place, with a long enough lens, to shoot the bridge construction

North Bridge Pier
North Bridge Pier

We then went back to the church and did some more traditional night stuff …


Abercorn Church
Abercorn Church

There was a really bright full moon, and this was the only light source for the above image

2015 – March – Alternative Lighting

There was some major sun-spot activity, and increased sun-spots means an increase in the Northern Lights activity.

There had been solar-storm warnings, and this was expected to make the Lights visible as far south as Estonia.
So, armed with camera and tripod, off I went.

I didn’t go far, as the fog had come in, and the sky was 100% cloud.
So I shot this instead …

Misty night
Misty night


Staying local, there is a large old Scots Pine (if it wasn’t for the fog you could see it in the image above) near me that I’ve been wanting to shoot for a while … but make it different.

No cloud, no moon … hmm why not.

Off I trundled, camera, tripod and timer in hand and shot some star trails over the top of the tree.

This is 60 x 30 second images that have been layered together to show the motion of the Earth. I could have done this as one exposure, however the amount of light pollution would have meant a really rubbish image.

Dedrige Monarch
Dedrige Monarch

The Milky Way over the top of this tree would be a great shot, but unless there is a power cut that affects the entire central Scotland belt, I don’t think it’s going to realistically happen.


2014 – December – on the hunt of the Meteor Storm

The Germalid Meteors were coming and I wanted some of that.

Unfortunately … they didn’t want any of me. Even at 2am on a very cold and desolate Saturday morning …

This is the only Meteor I was able to capture ... in 4 hours!
This is the only Meteor I was able to capture … in 4 hours!
The moon really screws up star trails ... as does a frozen lens!
The moon really screws up star trails … as does a frozen lens!


2013 – September – Dumfries And Galloway

I had a weekend away with the Camera Club and we stayed at an activity centre on the edge of one of Scotland’s Dark Skies National Parks.
Living 13 miles from Scotland’s capital city, Edinburgh, it’s really difficult to get any decent astrophotography due to the amount of light pollution there is bouncing off of the atmosphere.

All I needed to do was become a decent astrophotographer …




2013 – March … Feeling Old

Been out playing again with Simon (OK, probably should have worded that a bit better) as we’ve had  bit of snow lately.

One of the objectives was to lightpaint in the snow. This is not as easy as it sounds, especially as the snow in question turned out to be a blizzard …

Needs a bit of work ... will fix up a treat


And that’s where I found out that several inches of snow can quiet easily hide knee deep mud and sheep shit.
My trouser leg smelt a bit rancid after that little dip …

The Croft

There is an old croft deep in the heart of shale-mining land, and Simon and I paid it a visit.
The snow had stopped falling for a while, and such is the way of the British weather, the thermometer dropped and the wind got up. Wind-chill for this shot was around the -10 mark – and I was laying in the snow (for once not covered in sheep crap).

This shot has been lit with a mixture of halogen and LED and has Simon inside the croft with a gelled flash for effect.

The Croft


March also saw me trying star trails.

Star trails can be a series of long or short exposure images  that depict the movement of the stars through the heavens – hence the name.
These are normally done in the wilds of no where, and the risk of  light pollution is reduced.
Too easy.

It was a clear night, so I thought that I’d try to get some star trails, about 10 miles from Edinburgh.
The below shot is 10 x 3 minute exposures, manually stitched together to show the trails.
It also shows the amount of light pollution that was present and being reflected off of the ice crystals in the air.
By 2200 the frost was down and we called it a night as we didn’t want to risk ice on the lens and nadgered images.

Star Trails and Light Pollution