Saturday, 4 April 2015

Star Trails @ Souter Lighthouse, Marsden


Another blog entry heading your way. I'm gonna try and keep on top of my blog page as I know just how easily I can be distracted by my ACP Facebook page. Around 18 months ago I finally joined Facebook after steering away from it for so long. It was the commitment to that which was mainly to blame for me taking a back seat with my blog, so I'm gonna try not to let that happen again. It's a bit of a juggling act to say the least, but hopefully I'll get it right this time. I enjoy updating the blog, although sometimes I struggle with the task of not repeating myself. Ah well, I'll plod on and continue with the adventures of a roaming Mackem. Today's update comes in the shape of some recent Astrophotography. What the frig is Astrophotography, I hear you say. Well, let me enlighten you...(cut and pasted from the ver trusty Wikipedia)... 

Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography for recording images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky. The first photograph of an astronomical object (the Moon) was taken in 1840, but it was not until the late 19th century that advances in technology allowed for detailed stellar photography. Besides being able to record the details of extended objects such as the Moon, Sun, and planets, astrophotography has the ability to image objects invisible to the human eye such as dim stars, nebulae, and galaxies.

Now we've got that little issue out of the way I'd like to tell you about my recent trip to Souter Lighthouse, near Marsden, which lies along our coastal route between Whitburn and South Shields. I decided on this location to do a star trail sequence as it is an ideal spot with not too much light pollution if you're facing Polaris (the North Star). On this occasion though, I wanted to give Polaris a night off and instead capture the sequence in a westerly facing direction. I was pretty much dictated by the shot I had in mind and the particular direction I would need to face to achieve this. So, I took up position with my back to the North Sea, which included a nice lead in line which was a set of steps. Obviously the lighthouse was to be my focal point and the star trail would finish the shot off. Well, these things always seem to work in theory, but it was now time to put in all into practise. As you can imagine, it was dark by the time I set my gear up and there was no-one else around. I wish I had a quid for every time I looked behind me. Paranoia tends to kick in during situations like this, but you just have to grow a pair and get on with it.

I don't remember off hand how long I ran the sequence for. I remember 30 second continuous exposures clicking away for quite a while, or so it seemed. Looking at the finished shot I was guess I stood there for around twenty minutes or so. More than happy with the result. I've included a colour splash version for good measure.

I still feel very much a novice in this area, although I've done half a dozen star trail sequences during the past year. It's all about how long you can wait it out. The longer the sequence, the better the trails. Hope you like it..

Back soon... Ash