painting with light
Capturing a great picture of the stars is always a difficult task. Trying to judge how long to leave the shutter open and what ISO to use leaves us overwhelmed by the task at hand.
Recently we had a photographic group "Nikongear" in, where 12 photographers came to join us for 6 nights of pure photography. In order to maximise the experience we decided to try photographing the glory of the African sky with the aid of a beautiful euphorbia.
Now one of the key things with star photography is to have some form of subject to give the vastness of space some sense of scale and to not get lost in just the stars. Each time you photograph the stars it will be different.
For this image we used a tree euphorbia as a subject and painted it with light by using a flashlight for no more than a second before turning the light off. The ISO was set to 2500 with a shutter speed of 13 seconds and aperture as big as possible, in this case f3.5. Remember that the stars are always moving and if you leave the shutter open for any longer than 15 seconds your stars will turn out looking like sausages rather than the elegant balls of burning gas they should be.
Expose your balance
Richard de Gouveia