Namibia is not only one of the least densily populated countries in the world, it is also one of the driest. The clear desert air makes it perfect for photographing stars, star trails and light painting, which is exactly what we do on each year's Namibia Untamed workshop.

Night photography is great fun, because it is wonderful to be outside, looking at the spectacular night sky, and it is always exciting to see how your shot came out - you can never really predict it exactly.

For this shot I started already when it was still light. I chose this composition and used my GPS to determine precisely where true south was, as I knew that is where the stars would circle.

Then I waited until the sun had set and started shooting when there was only a very subtle afterglow visible on the dunes in the background. I programmed my camera to take as many images as my battery would allow, and six hours later this was the result.

Well, not really, because shooting star trails with digital cameras is a bit more complicated than with traditional film, but I always give a dedicated presentation on star trails at the start of this workshop, so everyone knows what they're doing by the time we get to this place.

The secret to a good star trail image is that the shot should still be a good photograph without the star trails. Most of the star trail shots you see are focused solely on the star trails and feature very mediocre foregrounds - if you want to shoot star trails, then the same rules apply as for any other type of photograph. Except maybe that you don't want any clouds. ;-)

If you would like to learn to shoot star trails in the most surreal locations you have ever seen, with a small group of like-minded enthusiasts, why not join me on our next Namibia Untamed workshop?

If you're interested, please have a look on my website for more information, pictures and tour impression video clips:

Squiver Photo Tours & Workshops

Hope to see you there!

Marsel

©2012 Marsel van Oosten, All Rights Reserved. This image is not available for use on websites, blogs or other media without the explicit written permission of the photographer.

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