I think I need to start them with some sort of banner that sets your(the reader's) expectations.
Okay... I think I need a sort of set of notes for every astrophotography type run I do to help me get things rolling.
So, let's try that... now:
Weather: Mostly clear skies to the south.
Temperature: Pleasantly warm (Didn't even need a jumper)
Wind: Very slight
Logistics: Estimated 40 minute walk along a shingle spit to get to and return from location.
- Arrive early to use of dusk-light to on approach to castle
- Shoot the Milkyway over the Isle of Wight
- Capture something interesting using the castle itself
- Get a star trail shot making use of the lighthouse that is there(If it is accessible)
- Explore and have fun
- I've not scouted the location at night before and it's been years since I visited during the day.
- Not sure how much light pollution the Isle of Wight will kick off. (Vaguely aware there are towns/villages on north-facing(my) side of the island.)
- Whilst the castle is potentially a great site there is no interior access at night so only steep plain walls are available to shoot. (Will need to look for interesting features, first consideration would be the main entrance/gate.)
I stopped once about halfway down to shoot the fishermen.
The entire length of the spit was littered with fishermen taking advantage of the warm evening.
At the end of the spit we sat down and re-hydrated, it was still too light for star photography so I just mucked about for a while. This shot is the first one of the castle.
You can faintly see a smear in this shot of the Milkyway coming down diagonally from the upper left corner.
A bit of clambering was involved but I really wanted to play with the wooden structures that led into the water and now the sky was about as dark as it was going to get.
The LighthouseSo turning round the last bit of castle wall we come up on the light house.
I tried various different angles and moved around to get different angles.
Two key compositions would involve
1. The light house with Polaris
2. The Lighthouse with the milkyway.
The exact positioning of each within the shot would be dependant on where I could get to and my creativity.
So... as per the plan, I tried to get a nice circular star trail over the lighthouse. (Ideally with Polaris centred on or behind the lighthouse.)
I tried an experiment of limiting my sequence of shots to 15 minutes to see if that was enough to get a good circular trail. It's not until I got to post-processing that I could see it wasn't really enough for what I wanted and, unfortunately, there was another problem... i'd been having trouble with my tripod in portrait mode all night and was thinking I was shaking the camera but, as the stacked images from the 15 minute sequence shows, my tripod was slipping. The camera was sinking throughout the 15 minutes, creating an unintended spiral effect with the trail. (I composited the lighthouse back in manually so it wasn't blurred.)
Castle Gate and the road homeSo, with the lighthouse and sea defences bagged and the night sky truly dark we turned on the castle itself once more.
In truth there is lots do with creatively with the walls of the castle I just was easily distracted by other subjects. (And my tripod problem.)