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15th March 2011
atacama stars
on my first night in san pedro de atacama i went out with my camera and tripod looking for a good spot to get a picture of the stars. despite it being a beautiful, cloudless night i still struggled. this was mainly because the moon was so big and bright, and there was a surprisingly large number of street lights. for the first time in south america, all i wanted to find was a dark alley. after walking for about fifteen minutes i found a spot in what seemed to be someone's driveway. i pointed the camera away from the moon, and set about taking a long exposure. unfortunately a big issue i encountered was focussing. there was nothing for the auto-focus sensor to hook onto in the dark, but at the same time it was impossible to manually focus on the black through the viewfinder. i opted for manual focus, and when i returned to look at the result i found an amazing but blurry pattern. so i decided to try again last night, went back to the same location, and this time managed to 'trick' the auto focus into working using the light from my ipod. i used my remote to open the shutter, and then listened to tunes from my ipod for 30 minutes until the shutter closed again. this is the result, and i think you can see why i decided to go back to the same spot. this was the first time i'd used my remote, and therefore the first time i'd taken a startrails shot without layering multiple photos together in photoshop. how lucky that i found a chilean driveway that happened to face due south.

here's the original
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i've posted 871 photos taken with my nikon d60 - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

this is the only picture i've taken with a shutter speed of 1800 sec

i've posted 136 photos taken with an aperture of f/4 - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

i've posted 94 photos taken with a focal length of 10.0 mm - here are the last few i posted - view the rest here

this is the only picture i've posted taken on 15th March 2011

15/03/2011
atacama stars
on my first night in san pedro de atacama i went out with my camera and tripod looking for a good spot to get a picture of the stars. despite it being a beautiful, cloudless night i still struggled. this was mainly because the moon was so big and bright, and there was a surprisingly large number of street lights. for the first time in south america, all i wanted to find was a dark alley. after walking for about fifteen minutes i found a spot in what seemed to be someone's driveway. i pointed the camera away from the moon, and set about taking a long exposure. unfortunately a big issue i encountered was focussing. there was nothing for the auto-focus sensor to hook onto in the dark, but at the same time it was impossible to manually focus on the black through the viewfinder. i opted for manual focus, and when i returned to look at the result i found an amazing but blurry pattern. so i decided to try again last night, went back to the same location, and this time managed to 'trick' the auto focus into working using the light from my ipod. i used my remote to open the shutter, and then listened to tunes from my ipod for 30 minutes until the shutter closed again. this is the result, and i think you can see why i decided to go back to the same spot. this was the first time i'd used my remote, and therefore the first time i'd taken a startrails shot without layering multiple photos together in photoshop. how lucky that i found a chilean driveway that happened to face due south.

here's the original