I recently bought a Tamrac Zipshot tripod – a very good deal at only £14, from Wex Photographic. It’s a very light-weight tripod, and not the most stable platform, but it works quite well with my little NEX-6, it’s quick and easy to set up, and easy to carry around.
The winter nights get dark early, but that does have one advantage for photography – you don’t have to wait up so late for some long-exposure night photography. This isn’t something I’ve tried much before. I stepped just outside our front door, and set the camera up on the tripod.
This one is around a four-minute exposure of the sky. The stars are lines because they moved that much in the time of the exposure. Well, it’s all relative, but it’s more the case that we moved – the Earth was spinning while I was taking the photo, and the stars just let us see the spin.
It’s an amazing thought that we’re watching the planet we’re standing on spinning on its axis. Here’s a small crop from that photo, showing the lines of the stars better.
I pointed the camera at a nearby tree, and opened the shutter. I then lit the tree with my little ZebraLight torch, before closing the shutter.
I tried a couple of shots of passing cars, to get the light trails, but we don’t quite have the angle from our stairs for it to work out. With a limited-enough aperture, though, the street lamp made a pretty starburst effect.
I took a quick shot of the setup I used, with my iPhone. The iPhone doesn’t do so well in low light. Here’s the camera set up for the star trail photo: