Abhishek Patel

The Star of the Night || Mt Cook, New Zealand

How can it be a successful trip without a couple of best star trails pics. Startrail is now one of the things I would always try on a trip. Its a tricky type of photography, since you can only click about 2 or 3 long enough star trails in a single night, thus the composition has to be well thought and pre planned, rest have to leave it on the camera, and having a moonless night is an advantage here :), The only problem being was that in Mt Cook, the nights are very small, Sunlight starts to completely fade away by 10:30pm and by 4:30am you can see the morning hues by the horizon, that would give me a night window of only 6hrs (this shot was already 3hr:30mins of that), I was hoping for 3 long star trails (I got 2 long and 2 short startrails), but I am satisfied with what I got. I enjoyed one of the calmest sunrise in my life.The shot above consists of 210 exposures of 30secs each @ f4 ISO800 10mm giving me 3hrs:30mins of star trail. The main difference in this pic is that the Polaris captured int his shot is the South Polaris, rather then the North one that is usually captured from IndiaMt Cook being far far away from the city lights has one of the darkest sky i have ever seen in my life, giving me 10 times more stars to witness then the darkest sky i have seen in India or South Africa, Once your eyes gets adjusted to the darkness of the sky, you can see the Milky Way and a few star clusters and 3 Super novas named SN 1604 (20,000 light years away) and SN 1987A (168,000 light years), 3rd one I couldnt recognize, all this was according to Stellarium on the iphone ;) and with just naked eyes, I wish I had a telescopeThe Red light beam you see in the shot was from the night vision torch I used to for keeping an eye on the camera just in case nothing goes wrong and the camera is keeping on clicking, But i wasnt aware it was included in the frame, I kind of like it this way, it gives the shot a Sci-fi feel.

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