Weekend photos (sort of)

I found somewhere else with a monitor that actually works, and noted that I need to repair my monitor this evening. Or maybe it’s the video card. I need to repair something, anyway.

The photos are uploaded, but because of the seemingly haphazard and random methods I used to get them onto Flickr, they are in a seemingly haphazard and random order on there. Still, they do represent collections of pixels what I have made, so I guess that they still count.

This one, Saturday’s sunset while we were actually trying to spot the Space Station pass (we did, but it was less impressive than the sunset) is a favourite, but it’s this rather dark one which excites me most.

I wrote here about my desire to improve my photography a bit, and it was through a link to this webpage and a fair bit of tinkering in the icy cold darkness of Suiderstrand over the weekend that I managed to get that shot. It represents a 25 minute exposure, having played around with a million settings to get that far.
Given that it was so very, very cold and I was only bolstered by a sweatshirt and a couple of glasses of brandy, I’d love to have taken things further, but didn’t. With hindsight, I probably should have stuck it out and gone again for something longer. It was an incredibly clear, crisp night, with close of zero light pollution. There will be others though.

But this horribly imperfect image (it’s actually a lot more perfect than the several test shots that went before it) lays down a baseline for future efforts. As that helpful webpage says:

Like anything in photography, but the best way to learn anything is through trial and error and learning through your mistakes… Play around and experiment, it’s the only way to learn, at the end of the day there’s no harm in taking duds, that’s what the delete button is for.

I did this. I followed all the instructions. I tweaked to make the light shots darker, the dark shots lighter, and in the end I got something to build on. Watch this space, but equally, don’t hold your breath.

They’re stars, by the way. Stars.

Nice pictures

As a regular reader of 6000 miles…, you’ll be well aware that we like nice pictures. If they are nice long exposure pictures, we like them even more, and if they are long exposure pictures of South Africa, well, then the biscuit is well and truly taken. Step forward then, the winners of the 6th International Earth & Sky Photo Contest – most especially overall winner, Eric Nathan (you may remember him from such posts as Another Cape Town Timelapse) and this beauty:


And look, Eric dun gud. But there are some other utterly spectacular images on the list as well. And if I’m honest, this one by Russian Lyubov Trifonova called “The Enchanted Forest” is probably my particular favourite.


There’s even a Vimeo montage of the winning images, complete with chilled music, and obviously, the whole competition is granted legitimacy by having one winner from Iceland. It’s the rules.


We live in a beautiful world. Yes we do. Yes we do.
And I happen to live in one of the more beautiful bits.

Here’s Table Mountain showing off in NatGeo’s pic of the day.


That’s Table Mountain in front of you in Brendon Wainwright’s shot. Camps Bay is to the right, the City Bowl to the left and, over the shoulder of Devils Peak, the Southern Suburbs.

It’s nice, isn’t it?

Don Pettit ISS startrails shot

While Chemical Engineer Dr Don Pettit was up on the ISS doing Chemical Engineering stuff, he also did some photography. And wow.


Those yellow streaks are city lights as the ISS speeds over the surface of the earth, and the blue/white flares are lightning. The white vertical stripes in the distance are star trails.

There’s a bit more to this image than simple long exposure, but fortunately, Doc Pettit has also done a video so that when you’re up in space, you’ll be able to recreate his work. In the meantime, go and have a look at the Flickr album with the rest of his amazing photos.

Sky Shot

This photo, shared by the Isle of Man Tourism Facebook page is of the Milky Way over the Calf of Man:


Photo by Brook Wassall: see more of his Manx stuff here.
The red light is Thousla rock, which has a small lighthouse on it, because it has a bit of history. Some people were commenting that Brook should have removed the red light, but I think it makes it more “real”: it could almost be CGI without it.