Saturday, July 24, 2010

Radio Tower along the Shore at Midnight

A few weeks ago, July 4th weekend to be exact, I was heading up the North Shore rather late on a Thursday night. Approached Palisade Head I decided to take some time and see if I could compose a star shot with Palisade Head in the composition. It was almost midnight so the sky was about as dark as it was going to get and moon was just starting to rise. I went down to the overlook and didn't see anything compelling. The angle was just to great trying to get Palisade Head, which you photograph down, and the stars, which you photograph up, in the field of view. So I went back to the car and on my return saw the radio tower with the stars in the background. This looked rather cool so decided to do some shooting here.

The first image was a 30 second exposure. I tried to get the to light on the top of the tower to match up with the last star in the handle of the big dipper. The alignment was close but not where I really wanted it. Backing up any more would have put me over the embankment.

I made a couple of 30 second exposures then decided to do a star trail image. There are a couple of ways to shoot star trails. One is to open the shutter for the length of the exposure and the other is to take a series of shorter exposures and blend them together. I hadn't done the blending method in a while, at least I hadn't done a successful one in a while, so decided to do one here. The exposure was set for 15 minutes and the image above consisted of 5 of these 15 minute exposures. The images were then blended together with a program called Image Stacker that resulted in this composite.

After the series of 15 minute exposures the moon was up to the point where it was providing some illumination so again I made another 30 second exposure. A little more of the ground around the tower can be seen.

It was almost 1:30 by now and there was still a good hours drive to the trailer at Grand Marais. Got all of the gear into the car and we were off.


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