Stars & Spider Webs

One clear evening around midnight I set out to photograph some stars. Being in eastern North Carolina we have quite a bit of light pollution, but I felt it added something to the photograph. The light coming from the horizon is my hometown of Snow Hill.

For those of you interested in how to photograph stars here is a little of bit of info.

To start off, you need a sturdy tripod. Your camera, a cable release and lastly, a location. It's very simple, you need the lowest/widest aperture that your lens is capable of achieving. Once you've set your aperture {this part depends on your personal preference and camera} then set your ISO, I personally like it between 1600 & 3200. Then find your corresponding shutter speed, most of the time you will need to over expose by a full stop or so. Again this all depends on your location and what you have envisioned for your photograph. For focusing, I use my portable spot light/flashlight. I light up the subject to set my focus. Then you make sure you turn OFF the auto focus. Release your shutter with the cable release. It's all about having fun & experimenting!

Afterwards I began looking for spider webs. I always bring my spot light with me because I'm constantly looking animals to photograph. Spent a few minutes creating images of them. These were taken with the spot light, I do sometimes use a flash but the spot light is very simple to take on the go.

Then I thought I would try to take a self portrait with the stars. Like I mentioned earlier I'm always spotlighting, looking for wildlife at night. So what better idea for a self portrait than me looking into the night shining a light. I drove to a location that had a dirt road, set up and created a few test runs. Once I was happy with the stars, lighting & composition I set the self timer. I got in front of the camera and created a few different self portraits. This was my favorite.

Neil JerniganComment