Low-No Light Project, Winter 15/16 - markhumpage
Earth's Spin

Earth's Spin

7 hours of Earth's spin as shown through the stars. Spinning around the North Pole star 'Polaris' this composite image comprises over 1500 long exposures captured overnight in my local village of Cotesbach (you don't have to travel far to explore the heavenly wonders using low light photography).

To capture this 'No Light' scene I mounted the camera on a tripod and set up the composition such that the church spire was pointing towards the North star Polaris (This ensures the full star swirling effect above the church spire). Set the focus to manual and shoot a few test images to ensure subject fits & is level (using LCD screen). Once I was happy with the composition and using the remote cable (set to lock - which forces the camera to shoot continuous exposures) I set the camera off. Make sure you switch off the lcd to maximise battery life. This allowed the camera to shoot continuous for 7 hours (using twin battery pack). The foreground, church & selected trees were lit up using a technique called light painting. During the first few exposures I shone a strong torch over the church & trees and 'painted' with light. This helps bring daylight to a 'No Light' scene.

I then took the camera back indoors & transferred all 1500+ images (High res JPEG) to MAC and imported in StarStax software. This very useful (& free) software easily produces a single composite image. One thing you will get when shooting these multiple composite images (depending on where the shot is taken) is plane trails running across the image. It can spoil the final composite & I prefer to remove, again using software (Pixelmator).

The resulting image reveals 7 hrs of Earth spinning, as shown through the stars. A stunning image which looks great framed & mounted on a wall.

CAMERA: Olympus OM-D, E-M5
LENS: Zuiko Digital ED 7-14mm
ACCESSORIES: Olympus Remote Control RM-UC1
SETTINGS: Manual, ISO 500, F4, 15s. Resolution MN (2560x1920)

TIP: Bookmark interesting places of interest as you travel around & keep them in mind for specific shots (As I did with this shot).

low lightstarsstartrailpolarisnorth starheavensnightskydarkchurchCotesbachLutterworthOlympusOMDEM5