In a relatively small country like England, night photography can be extra challenging because you are never too far from civilisation. It is equally unfortunate that I live in the Midlands which is a very populated area and if I wanted to have any chance of seeing some real stars then I’d have to go quite far up north.
Besides light pollution there are other complications to night photography. Getting the focus right is extremely difficult because most AF systems won’t work in the dark and manually trying to do it is basically just guess work. The exposure is another element that needs careful consideration. As we all know exposure is controlled by shutter speed, aperture and ISO. Ideally you want to use the widest aperture so you can to let in as much light as possible along with bumping up the ISO to assit with that. You don’t want an exposure longer than 30 seconds otherwise you’ll start to get star trails.
Both of the images in this post were taken at Coombe Abbey on the edge of Coventry which is quite a large city. As you can see there is a glow of light coming from the city in the low sections of the image, it also extends into the upper parts so you can’t really see any detail in the stars – they just look like little specs. For me this was just a test shoot to experiment and see what works ready for when I go to a location that has a lower amount of light pollution to try and get some really stunning images. Despite this I feel they turned out well and I am looking forward to being able to do more like this.