Reaching for the Stars

28th November 2013
Ah - the stars, the universe, the big picture. Is there life 'out there'? Do they have their own version of I'm a Celebrity? (I'm a Vogon?) God, I hope not.

In the spirit of cosmic research, I decided to try photographing star trails when the next suitably clear night presented an opportunity.

So a cold and clear night saw me sat atop the hills over Buxton last weekend, composing a shot of Solomans Temple whilst it was still light enough to see what I was doing. Having had a couple of failed attempts before in different locations, I decided to include the North Star, Polaris for maximum effect. For this I used Google Sky Map on my smart phone to try and work out where the North Star would be.

Once I was set up, it was just a case of waiting for it to get dark. I was surprised at the number of folks who still visited the tower even when it was fairly dark. Dog Walking. Just dog walking I told myself. I've heard other people meet up to walk their dogs in lonely car parks. I'm sure it wasn't that.

So after much waiting and lowering of temperatures I decided it was dark enough and set my camera off taking 30 second exposures continually for an hour. Basically, it was a lot of pics for one shot. Finally, a torch lit shot of the tower clinched the nights work and it was back home for tea and medals.

On the lessons learnt front I discovered that all those frozen puddles I'd been wandering through in the dark actually turned out to be freezing cow pats. Who knew they crunched the same way as icy puddles? I do now.

Practically, some sort of chair would have assisted with all the waiting around. Top tip there.

Finally putting all the frames togther took a while but I liked the results which are saved in Photos of the Peak District. I hope you like it too.