Photographing Star Trails over Havre De Grace, Maryland

It took 3 hours, and I ruined pretty much 300+ photos from some of the time-lapses due to high ISO noise settings on the camera. Can’t complain, I am learning to shoot the star trails in a hard way.

It was another cold and miserable night, where I was all alone photographing from a boardwalk near the Concord Point Light House. The occasional dog walkers also started disappearing after dark. Even though I wanted to get these photographs at any cost, and I knew these time lapses are going to take good amount of time, I wasn’t so far from being agitated with the fear of loneliness, darkness and unfamiliar surroundings. Every time someone wearing a hoodie, walking in my direction, a deep sense of panic was all around the air.

In between the time lapse shoots, I met a nice guy who is on a sailing trip across the east cost ports on his motor boat. I hardly remember his name now, but he and his nice dog gave me good company for quite some time while I waited on camera to finish these time lapse sequences. He passionately talked about his old minolta 50 mm along with his love for photography and even a little bit of current politics. That conversation turned out to be surprisingly comforting. I managed to keep my internal daemons chained for a while, and managed to hurry up on grabbing more photos amidst of all the conversational distractions.

It was quite a bit of work to clean up the trails of light from flights in these photographs during post processing, and you will realize how crazy our skies are polluted with lights from artificial sources. One another reason why we are are not able to see the milky way above us! Thin and light air of the winter sky might have also helped in better view of the stars.

Hope you have enjoyed the post, check out the links below for related portfolios and blog posts


Inspired by subtle light…

Sunrise that I rarely see…

It’s always hard to wake up early in the morning and get out for the sunrise… It will get more tricky when it is too cold outside during the winter days. It seems like the trees without leaves adds a bit more character and beauty when mist is hanging around the lake or when morning sun lights up the trees from the side. Drinking a warm coffee and watching the sunrise with the chirping birds is no less than epic that I generally dream and don’t care to wake up, These are some of the photos from my morning walks around the Marsh Creek state park during sunrise, where I actually won over my laziness .

Abstracts created by Ice 

Sometimes, chilly mornings of Jan/Feb months will give opportunities to capture ice formations over the water near the shore line on days where temperature falls sub-zero. These are photos that were framed with my telephoto lens. It’s quite interesting and a time passing job wandering close to the lake to find abstract compositions with layers of transparent ice over the water. If you are lucky you will find a leaf or a small branch that got trapped within ice, creating a beautiful abstract subject against pitch black water surface. Once the sun shows up, the icy layer above the water starts to melt down, and it will be all just water soon. I was freezing, but managed to get away with a few cool abstract photographs even though there weren’t any branches or green leaves that I could find inside the water frozen by the ice.

Waiting for the sunset

Here are a few more photos from the Marsh Creek Park that was shot during sunset. What really pulled me into the first photo was the contrast created by the last bit of sunlight over the woods that was lighting up a small patch of yellow leaves left over from fall season. Along with the light, reflections on the water made the scene quite photogenic. When the blue hour started, a flock of Canadian goose just flocked into the lake for me to pack up the day… 


Finally…! heading out for some sunshine …

It’s been a while I have gone out wandering for good compositions and light, and proving myself I am learning photography in the right spirit. For a couple of months most of the photography learning was just around sitting on the couch and watching YouTube videos… I had this dilemma to go out and try something practically and however the cold weather wasn’t co-operating much. Finally I did find a bit of time today and decided to break my daily routine to find some place nearby to get some fresh air and if possible a decent shot.

Finally I decided to head to photograph the old sycamore tree near the old Wetherill Barn at Pawling which I came across while wandering in google map for interesting locations nearby.

This one can be called as one of the totally unplanned and underprepared shot of the day, as the sun was almost about to hide behind the horizon line and I was just walking into the scene. There were a lot of low clouds ready to block the sunlight soon enough. With a bit of challenge to shoot against the sun, all my options were just limited to place the sun inside the frame in a way that it is masked partially behind the curling branch of the sycamore tree. Tree was fantastic, and had its branches twisted in all directions creating a different dimension leading the eyes to the old house. Talking to someone who was dog-walking on the trail, I learned the tree in my frame above is a 250+ year old sycamore tree and has a bit of history connected with it. With the chaos created by all the branches and fairly busy twigs from all the trees around, it is no grand vista to be in a portfolio. I would rather call it a sensible try to get outside and do some photography along the trail walk after a while. 

Hope you have enjoyed the post…  See you soon in another post!