Taken at Ramshaw Rocks, in the Peak District, the day before lockdown was introduced in the UK due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This image is taken using a technique called ‘star trail’ photography, which involves continuously taking images over the course of several hours (this particular image was taken over 2 hours 40 minutes), in order to capture the apparent movement of the stars in the night sky due to the rotation of the Earth.
This location was chosen due to its very low light pollution level (by Peak District standards), as well as the interesting foreground that the moorland landscape provided. We used a torch, held up in shot to light up the rocks and heather (without this these would have been black in the image due to the lack of ambient light). The last step was to get a shot of myself stood on top of the rock in order to provide a focal point for the image, and fortunately, thanks to the magic of Photoshop, I only needed to be stood still on top of the rock for 1 photo (equating to 30 seconds), instead of almost 3 hours!
One benefit to shooting this image during the Coronavirus pandemic, was the grounding of the world’s airlines, which resulted in a lack of passing aircraft impacting on the shot (these would normally show as a straight white line in the sky, in contrast to the concentric star trails), however even with the proximity to Manchester airport, and the location being on the flightpath for many Transatlantic flights, there was only one plane that was removed from this image in post production.
This image was subsequently featured by the BBC, The Independent and the Sun. Prints of this image are available, and we are able to take commissions on similar star trail images, if you’ve any requests, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Taken 24th of March 2020.
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV / EF 11-24mm Lens
ISO 1250; 11mm; f/4.0; 30 sec.