The first question that gets asked by most of them when they see this particular one is “what exactly is this?” For those who have seen star trail images earlier, this might sound like a frivolous question but the truth is even I had never thought about stars leaving their trail till I began shooting them. Having lived in urban areas most of my life, I did not seem to acknowledge the fact that there are billions of stars right above me at every instant, and that they actually rotated.. oh wait its the earth that is rotating around its axis.
Having warmed ourselves by the fire and after our first successful vegan barbecue experimentation, we packed our gears and moved towards the boat launch ramp close to our camp site at Apalachicola National Forest in Florida during the Thanksgiving season of 2014. It was already 11:30 pm and our conversations were accompanied by evidently loud cricket noise. With the sleeping bags on the grass, we decided to enjoy the starry sky listening to some soulful music after I set up the camera for time lapse and joined my ever patient camping partners Wazim and Siddhu, who were also equally interested in inviting adventure under the night sky. Something that we did not foresee was how cold it could get in the midnight. The dew had damped our sleeping bags and our fingers had started to freeze. From a poetic starry night to sub-zero temperature, within minutes. We stayed in the car till the mist from the lake completely fogged up the lens. Nevertheless, I was happy that we managed to capture noticeable movement of the stars.
On the technical side of things, this image shows the apparent movement of the stars for a period of 2 Hours and 15 Mins. 59 different images (captured with an interval of 2 minutes between every consecutive frames) are stacked together. The central point in the apparent concentric circles is the North Pole which is one end of the earth’s axis of rotation. The trails seem like concentric circles due to the sheer number of stars but there is not a single circle, simply because for a complete circle one would require to shoot the stars for a duration of 24 Hours. Exactly the time earth takes to completely rotate around its axis. Also, you’ll never be able to that as it is impossible to capture the stars in the day time.
Location: Apalachicola National Forest, Florida.
EXIF Details: Shutter Speed: 13 Sec / ISO:3200 / Aperture: 3.8
Number of Images Stacked: 59
Total Duration: 2Hr 15Mins
Interval Between Images: 120 Sec
This was one of the many photographs that were clicked during this trip, more about the adventures in the upcoming posts. I hope you enjoyed reading my first post. Shall you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to drop a comment below. Meanwhile spread the word, share the joy!