Something you may not know about me but I love photography, I have been taking photos for around 6-7 years now. I don’t class myself as a professional or even semi professional, I am more of a hobbyist – and I quite like it this way. For now.
I have done weddings, events and sold prints but I find myself now just enjoying taking photos. if enquiries or sales come – great, but I do not advertise anymore.
I have recently sold all my Nikon gear and moved systems. below is my list of gear I use.
Sony A6000 + Kit lens – http://amzn.to/2zRXyCO (price reduction)
Sony 55-200 – http://amzn.to/2xsTSG8
Samyang 85mm f1.4 – http://amzn.to/2zT6QOS
Samyang 12mm f2 – http://amzn.to/2yTK0J6
Nisi v5 pro + polariser – http://amzn.to/2zSS62A
Nisi 0.9 Medium grad – http://amzn.to/2zSL79O
My Saturday Photo
I am currently on holiday at the in laws caravan in Ripley, North Yorkshire armed with all my camera equipment. The weather has been horrific and I haven’t had the chance to get out. A few days ago I finally got a chance and it was forecast for a clear night with only a first crescent moon.
I decided to go out and decided on a location I knew would be dark enough. I drove 1hour to Malham which is near Skipton where the lone tree stands high up in the moors, As soon as I got there the clouds rolled in and I didn’t even manage to get a photo, plus it was pretty scary up in the moors by yourself.
So a waste of time travelling. On the plus side I actually managed to find the tree so now I now where it is I can go there again.
Another couple of days past and all it has done is rain rain rain so no photos to be had. Until last night – I checked the forecast and it was due to be clear again but I had already had a drink so couldn’t venture out again, I am on holiday remember.
I looked out the caravan and the stars were clear as day.
The issue with photographing stars is you need to be totally isolated from the light, you need little to no light pollution as this can ruin your images when shooting long exposures. You also need to check the moon phase and shoot when there is a new moon (no moon). Thats why I chose Malham the other night. I knew it would be dark enough due to being in the middle of the moors, the moon was currently a crescent, I thought it would have effected the image but there wasn’t much light coming off the moon.
There is plenty of Dark sky locations around Britain, just see HERE.
There is a small amount of light pollution in the caravan site and with only Ripley village near by that is the only light around for a few miles, I was literally out the front of the caravan where there is a line of trees the moon was quite low in the sky and wasn’t visible from where I was standing. The only light around was the one from the front of the caravan. So it was worth a shot. It’s always worth a shot. If you don’t shoot you don’t get results.
The set up
I set up using the Sony A6000 and the Samyang 12mm f2. The F2 is a brilliant lens for shooting night photography due to the low aperture meaning you can open that aperture up so wide letting the light flood into the camera. Any lens is fine really, I have shot night photography using a Sigma 10-20 which isn’t the best for night shooting.
So you don’t need expensive gear to do it, but if you can afford it or have a low F number lens then great. The 12mm is also great too as its a super wide lens meaning your getting much more of the scene in the image. More isn’t always better but it helps when shooting a night scene in my opinion.
I had this set up on my old Velbon Ultra 655 travel tripod. with a Photomate ballhead tripod head. I had the camera pointing straight up at the trees with the star lit sky behind.
There isn’t anything set in stone about what settings to use its about trial and error there are many sites out saying use these settings ect, but for me no night is the same, no scene is the same so settings change all the time.
As you can see the light from the caravan lit the trees up nicely and I planned the shot using the Photopills app, and by using this I knew the milky way would be slightly visible behind the trees.
All the waiting was worth it and the images I wanted were right therein front of my face. Right on the caravan site. I didn’t need to venture out so far to get a decent image.
If you are planning a trip. Remember to have a torch and spare batteries, A paper map in case you don’t have phone signal. Head torch is always a good option. DONT GO BY YOURSELF. I say this just in case something happens. Stay safe everyone.
Im Lew – A blogger and father of two boys, three if you include the dog, living in Sunderland. Not sure I have the hang of this blog niche thing but hey ho, I’m doing it anyway – expect all sorts of randomness.