Star Struck

Bowerman’s Nose, South Dartmoor.

As I looked out the patio doors Sunday evening gazing at the stars over Dartmoor I instantly thought star trail and Bowerman’s Nose. Call me mad if you wish and to be honest I did think it myself but clear nights are few and far between and I couldn’t miss the opportunity. So now it was on I gave friend and fellow NAPC member Richard Taylor a call and within the hour we were on our way.

We arrived at Hayne Down about half eight and had a short walk to get to our location, although short the walk was a little difficult due to the rough terrain through the gorse and ferns. It wasn’t long before we were setting up and firing a few test shots, and to my surprise the light from the moon which was 84% illuminated lit up the surrounding land perfectly at f5 ISO400 with 30 secs exposures.

Focus locked on and the remote on continuous drive it was more or less a case of just sitting back and waiting. The only issue you have to be aware of with Nikon and no doubt others is the maximum 100 frames before stopping therefore at 50 minutes you need to create a small lapse in the frames for shooting to continue. A little after 10pm and we were walking back to the car and heading home.

To ensure all the frames in your star trail all have the same tweeks I select all the images within Lightroom which I am going to use and then make the desired changes to the initial image. Here is the good bit, you can save a hugh amount of time by then hitting the ‘Sync…’ button and this will apply the changes you made to the first image to all those remaining.

You can also export all these files as either ‘jpg’ or ‘tif’ saving you even more time. I then loaded the exported ‘tif’ files into the ‘Startrails’ software which is free to download from here.

You can find Bowerman’s Nose at the following OS Map Reference SX741804. The easiest way to get to the landmark is to park at the car park located at the base of Hound Tor and walk North along the lane behind. The walk will take about 20-30 minutes.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>