Trip Start Aug 22, 2012
63Trip End Jun 16, 2013
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And as Van Morrison says:
Let go into the mystery
Let yourself go
You've got to open up your heart
That's all I know.
We have never seen stars like this!
We are in Waterberg Plateau National Park, a brick-red sandstone table mountain range that seems to go on forever and is surrounded by Nambian savannah. After driving north from Windhoek, we arrived here to an almost empty park
Our star-gazing continued throughout Namibia. Each night, because of the amazingly clear weather we encountered, we were able to watch the stars from our sleeping bags as they sparkled into our tent. I would often awaken at night and instead of just turning over, I'd catch a few moments of star-shine; middle of the night awe and wonder!
Jim's techy notes on startrails:
I've wanted to do a startrail for quite some time. Seems to me the two essential conditions that are a challenge to find in Nova Scotia (and probably most of Canada) are:
a) a full night with a gazillion stars; and
b) no moisture to condense on the lens.
The Namibian desert was perfect for this so I made two attempts. The only worries about leaving the camera chi-chunking away all night were thieves and the numerous mischievous jackals that roamed campsites. Had to stay up late to discourage both
There are a number of ways to take startrail photos. The one that made most sense to me under the conditions were to take 1 photo every minute for several hours (7 hrs in the first case and 4 in the second) and then use specialized software to compile them into a single image. Some nice touches if you can orchestrate them include orienting the camera to get the stars rotating around the north star, finding something interesting for the foreground to add interest/perspective and anticipating/avoiding possible sources of light contamination.
I'm pretty pleased with both as initial efforts. I especially like the color the crept into the first as the sun began to rise. Looking forward to future attempts.
I am also including a couple of single frames. Even these don't capture the magnificence of the star-filled skies.
Many thanks to my photo-compadre Nir Avneyon for his patient instruction and coaching on shooting startrails.