Bright Moonlight Blues

07th February 2015
I headed out to Twistleton in the Yorkshire Dales with the aim of taking some star trails. I realised my meager collection of star shots after dark amounts to a grand total of two photos and I really ought to make the effort to try to take some more photos.

The Yorkshire Dales looked like a good location for star trails are the light pollution levels are very low compared with the Peak District so I headed off for the 2 hour drive.

There a decent amount of snow still showing in the landscape and so I thought things were looking promising, even if it was going to be on the cold side.

I hadn't banked on the almost full moon though which showed itself as darkness fell. I was surprised just how bright it was being a city boy used to those pesky street lights. As darkness fell, the shadow cast by my tripod (and me) in the glow of the moonlight threatened to creep into the photo. It was apparent that I didn't even need a torch to read the time on my watch. Book reading by moonlight would also have been possible had (1) I remembered to bring a book and (2) it been 20 degrees rather than a finger freezing -1 degrees.

So I persevered anyway for the practice and because it seemed daft not to try having made the effort anyway.

So things I've discovered are:

1. An f4 lens isn't quite as useful as an f2.8 lens - I could have done with the extra amount of light for a 30 second exposure.

2. You really need the combination of a clear sky and a new moon - I wonder how often that's going to happen.

3. I really ought to take my Self Heating Hand Warming Packs if I venture out in winter.

4. Jam sandwiches and crisps don't really make the best crush resistant snack when wedged at the bottom of a camera bag. It appears as though the jam and bread will compress to about 3mm - who says I don't carry out practical field experimentation on behalf of sandwich eaters everywhere.