Tuesday, 30 July 2013

A quick scout of Longham Lakes by night.

A quick run out to make sure I made the best of a clear night. (Sadly a bit windy)

The purpose was to have another test run of the D600 using the Tokina 11-16mm lens.
Here's the animation.

Whilst I was shooting the above I also had a play around, shooting a toy I had happened to have in my bag at the time(Ghost Rider), with the D90 using a 35mm 1.8.
That's it for tonight.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

A moment to myself at Hardy's Monument

... So after the encounter at the Hellstone I moved on up to have a quick stab at The Hardy Monument.

Sadly the carpark is closed at night which I was secretly happy about.
Yes. It's a bit of a nuisance finding somewhere else to stop and walk up but the advantage is no one else is parking there and getting up to mischief which means I can concentrate on my photography.

There's not much to say for this sequence other than The Hardy Monument has been on my to-shoot list since day one. It's a popular choice among star-photographers in my experience. I was in no hurry to re-tread the same ground as my betters when I thought I could find my own lesser known spots but, it is a good spot, just a bit distant from my home.

Anyway, here are the shots.

Before I left I tohught I'd do a landscape hot from The Hardy Monument of the view over Weymouth/Portland.

And finally. Some star-rails.

It came for me at the Hellstone!

Tonight  decided to go somewhere new and, in so doing, decided to go somewhere I'd been before but a place I'd not been to for about a decade. It's a little out of the way, towards Portland but I've been meaning to make the journey ever since the first day I successfully shot the Milkyway. A place known, typically, as The Hellstone.

Due to the volume of images and an animation please click the jump to continue reading.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Down, Forward, Painting with Light!

A return to Kimmeridge with an old friend.

There's not much to say that I haven't already: Trip 1, Trip 2, Trip 3
This evening though we focused quit a bit on the light painting, when we arrived the tide was in but it slowly creeped out during the shoot.

Similarly we were creeped out towards the end of the shoot as a significant sound of collapsing earth and stones fell behind us. It sounded worse than it was I believe but it's never nice to hear that behind you, especially when there has been major landslides in the news of late.

All was well ofcourse and here are the shots.
Finally, a bit of tweaking of a couple of shots gave me this composite of what  like to call a Samryuken!
Well it amuses me!

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

... and the fiery glow orbited the great globe...

As the heat wave continues and the good weather abounds I'm forced to head out once more. So far I've been, on average, staying up ill 3-5am to make sure I make the most of these good, starry nights these past ten days and the weather forecasts still look good. I would go out every night if I could but I need to be able to operate during the day too.

Anyway, this pleasant night myself and Shaun returned to Durlston Country Park to shoot the Great Globe in proper dark, not necessarily intending it to be a truly late night.

Based on my previous visit I was quite excited to have a proper run a this location, so here's the first batch of shots.
Then of-course it was time to crack out the lights.
Shaun brought with him some ludicrously powerful, coloured, ring, LED lights that he pulled of some nice ambient lighting with. Several where we shone one colour on the upper-half of the globe and a second on the lower half.
Next up Shaun had the nice idea of orbiting the globe with some of the lights... so I did.

Happy with this batch of shots and yawning at the late night, we decided to head on home to ensure we weren't too exhausted for work the nex day.

On the walk back however we couldn't help but have a stab at shooting the castle itself.
 I didn't process these for a while after as I thought they hadn't come out well when reviewing on the camera but once I got them back on the computer I was very happy with them. Makes me believe there is more potential for other moderately well-lit locations.

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Horton heard a glowstick go whup-whup-whup-whup!

Tonight I went to Knowlton church...
... but some other guys were there so I moved on to Horton tower instead.

I'm not sure what they were doing there but I had a quick chat with them, they seemed nice enough and implied they were intending to camp there the night.
I suspect it's ghost related as that church is apparently the most haunted place in Dorset... which puts the previous half-dozen nights I've spent there into a sort of perspective.

I left them to it though and moved onto the Tower where I had a little play with glowsticks, painting with light on the new D600. They're much as you'd expect but it was interesting to see how the D600 handles the bright contrasting colours.
 think my Tokina 11-16mm which already is only good at 15-16mm on the full frame needs some adjustments, the stars are getting significantly distorted towards the edges. In honesty I've not started playing with de-barrelling my images. I have a feeling it should become part of my post-processing routine.
This last shot I really like, it's just a clear-cut shot of the Milkyway above the light-pollution of Bournemouth/Poole/Wimborne, one or all of those. The light-pollution had the side-effect of causing a great dome-type lens-flare which I quite like, this image is my wallpaper at the moment.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

A warm night at Kimmeridge

Tonight I decided to revisit Kimmeridge.
I did my research, the weather looked pleasant, ludicrously so, the sky would be dark(no moon) and the tide would be where I like it. If the tde is too high it totally submerges some of the more interesting rock formations.

Now Kimmeridge is a beautiful spot but I realise now that I've never mentioned how I access the place.
There are primarily two things to know.
1. You can't park in the carpark after dusk-ish
2. You can't walk all the way around Kimmeridge to the bench if the firing ranges are closed

The car park, that you'd otherwise want to use because it's sat right there on the beach basically, is sadly closed which has it's pro's and cons, it's a slight inconvience to have to walk but on the plus side, there is nothing to worry about with the carpark, often late night carpark activities can be a little nerve-racking...
The gate is usually closed or about to be closed when arriving at night and there are plenty of signs to say there is no entry by car but there is a public footpath so it's necessary to park within the village somewhere(sensible) and walk down. This sounds inconvenient and doing it the first time in the dark might be worrying but it's only about a twenty minute walk, it's not bad at all.

I've seen plenty of folks sneak in at night despite the CCTV warnings and signage but they're always promptly kicked out so I wouldn't bother, the residents are quite rightly strict in this regard..
Aside from access there is also safey, there's plenty of signage to warn you on the way in but the cliffs are always eroding and tumbling. It is quite creepy to hear so much activity whilst you're shooting.

Anyway, back to the photography.
This is my first night out with the D600 on a truly dark evening. The temperature was so warm that, for the first time ever, I didn't need to wear a coat or jumper. Such a pleasant evening to listen to the calm waters and watch the universe spin by.
This shot is my first succesful attempt to get stars reflected in water... and I totally didn't realise it at the time. If I had I would have stayed longer and re-framed probably a few dozen different shots trying to get different reflections. But I didn't notice, so I packed up and headed home.

It was a nice surprise when I was post-processing however.

And finally a big portrait shot.