The first clear sky of the year always calls for a photographic outing, even in the face of the coldest night of winter.
After a quick mental scan of the project ideas I settled for pushing the start rails boundaries. The forecast last night was for a clear sky all night long. Pine Island on Derryclare Lough has always been a personal favourite location.
The island sits right below the north star. Form the N59 vantage point the Horse Shoe provides an interesting background. The idea was to take an extremely long exposure a minimum of 5 hours to produce at least 600 frames.
While the moon was due to rise after 11:00 pm I was concerned it would have washed away the stars. In the end I got the best of both worlds as the first few hours provided a solid ground for strong star trails, the late moon rising illuminated the foreground just enough for a moody shot complement them.
The Passing of Time
By fortunate chance the last night was also the first day of the NFL playoffs so having made provision of pizza and hot tea, once the equipment was set up and running I had the perfect setting to watch the game while keeping a close monitoring of the camera.
Looking back at the final product it makes me smile because in essence it represent the slow passing of time and while we usually watch the stars as they are we rarely consider how different they are if we watch them along time.
And to think of it, it is also an interesting metaphor for life, we can look at it as a single moment fluid and ephemeral but we can also look at it as a whole ensemble of our accomplishments and experiences to realise how amazingly impactful it can be.
Ultimately each one moment in time is part of a bigger picture we can only appreciate once it has unfolded.
I’ve been interested in photography for a long time and it often occurs to me the real kick I get from it is not necessarily to capture an image.
What is exciting about photography is that is a learning opportunity. Over the years indeed I had to learn about cameras and other related equipment, about light, about composition, about technique.
But it doesn’t stop there, as I began looking for photographic subjects I also began to learn about nature, flowers, trees, birds and other animals. Not only about their names but also about their habits and behaviours. I became sensitive to the subtle equilibrium that exist between them.
As I began to explore the sky, I began learning about moon phases, stars constellations, clouds formations and the amazing relationship they have with our life.
As the need for specific equipment emerged I eventually learned how to use machinery like lathe work and milling. I engaged in designing artefacts to help me capture specific aspect of my subject.
It is quite interesting to notice that every time a new potential subject emerges it comes with a new learning opportunity.