The sky was right, so I decided to do a star trail photo at Billings Farm, the national park in Woodstock, VT. Since the moon didn’t set until almost 1 a.m., I made the decision to get up early and shoot the starts before sunrise. Shooting star trails works best when the moon isn’t out, so I thought getting up crazy early was better than staying up crazy late.
I rolled out of bed at 4 a.m., which sure isn’t natural for me, and I was shooting by 4:15. It was 13 degrees as I traipsed through the deep snow, but it seemed refreshing.
I lined up my shot by cranking up my ISO to around 125,000 and taking a shot. The quality was terrible but I could see my composition as I chimped the photo. I tightened down my tripod and dropped my ISO back down to 1600, my 16mm lens was set to f/2.8 and the shutter speed to 15 seconds. I made sure my “motor drive” was set to continuous and I fired the first shot using a wired shutter remote. After the shot looked good, I shot another one and locked the shutter remote so it would keep firing another shot as soon as the first one was done.
After hearing that the camera had fired several shots, I went back to the Jeep to warm up and wait. After about an hour the sky started to get some light. The black sky slowly began to get dark blue and then a bit brighter. I knew my image was done after about an hour but I let it keep shooting for another 20 minutes just to see what would happen.
I ended up with 117 usable images which I combined in Photoshop to make the final image.
So there I am, it is 5:35 a.m., 14 degrees and the sun isn’t close to coming up yet, so I decided to go to one of my favorite locations and see what the sunrise would look like. It has a nice vista and there is a large open field in the foreground. There is still plenty of snow cover, so I thought would be some good shots.
I was treated to one of the best sunrises I have seen. About 20 minutes before the sun was coming up, the clouds started getting some color. Then I was treated to a colorful light show, blue, yellow, orange and red. It was special. I was shooting like crazy, trying to find the perfect shot.
I got some nice images but more importantly I was treated to a special visual show. It was good that I out not near any other people because I stood out in the snowy field feeling extremely thankful and screaming “GOOD MORNING.”