It isn’t very often that I take up the opportunity to do something different with my photography. It usually takes another photographer inspiring me to break away from the comfort of my underwater world. This story is no exception.
Between dives my friend Tom and I were talking when the conversation turned to very familiar subject; photography. Tom talked about astro-photography and his plans to go out that evening to take a time-lapse of the stars. “You can join if you want” He said.
At 5:30pm we drive to a bridge from which you have an amazing view of Mount Agung. (The iconic volcano of Bali.) Tom’s idea was shooting from the bridge but I preferred the river bank just below. A truck then drove over the bridge causing everything to shake. Clearly the river bank was the better option.
From the river bank I took a few shot of the pink sky, left behind by the fallen sun. Tom set up his time-lapse. I looked back at the bridge to see how the light from the cars was lighting up the steal structure. It was beautiful. I had to take some pictures.
Finally turning my attention back to the sky I saw that the stars were shinning bright. I pointed the camera up and waited 30 seconds for the exposure to show on the LCD screen. It was black with just a few spots of white light. Not what I had been hoping for.
Tom couldn’t stop thinking about the bridge, but he was unable to use his own camera as it was stuck in a time-lapse. He suggested that I ascend to the bridge again to see if the shaking would have any affect on the star images.
So I climbed back onto the bridge. Within minutes I discovered that the shaking was not enough to have a valuable impact on the image. However I was able to get creative with the steal structure framing the stars.
Eventually Tom got so board that he stopped the time-lapse. The camera did not adjust the exposure correctly and therefore everything was black. But on the positive side he could now join me in taking pictures of the night sky.
The first picture he showed me was unbelievable. With almost the same settings I was using on my Canon 7D he was getting much better exposed pictures with his compact Canon G16. This was not fair.
After some long discussions we decided it was due to my choice of lens or the fact that my model of camera is two years older. Consequently to get the amazing star photos we see on National Geographic, I will need to invest in some new equipment.
But the night was not a complete loss I did get those stunning photos of the bridge.