Watching the World Spin

Star Trails over Ocean Pines, Maryland near Ocean City, Maryland

Having Some Fun With Star Trails

While I was in Ocean City, Maryland I spent a few nights out on the back deck of our house watching the sky. Two of those nights I brought my camera out to have some fun with star trails. I made this image on the first night. I found the spot in the sky that I wanted, and I let the stars do the rest of the work. This was the result of five exposures of around eight minutes each. I wanted some sort of foreground interest in the photo. I could have chosen a pontoon boat, but I went with this beautiful flowering tree instead. My main idea was the star trails, but I wanted a bit of Maryland in the photo as well. The tree provided me with that. I really love this type of photography, but I have not gotten out much to do it since my daughter was born. This trip provided me with a few opportunities to experiment with it a little. I need to spend a couple of sleepless nights out making more photos like this.

Thinking Ahead When Taking a Vacation

While I was packing my ThinkTank Airport Roller Derby bag before leaving I had a couple of spots left inside of it. I needed to make some tough choices with my lenses. One lens that made it into the bag was my Tamron 17-35mm f/2.8-4 lens. I have the Canon 17-40mm f/4 lens, but I had a thought of making a photo of the Milky Way. When you do that you need every stop of light that you can get, and at 17mm the Tamron gave me a full stop extra. With two lenses that basically cover the same focal length I nearly sold the Tamron last year, but that extra stop has kept it around. Here after trying some shots of the Milky Way I decided to try the star trails. The lens performed great, and made the choice to place it in the bag a good one.

Using Music to Inspire Me

I have mentioned on this blog before my love for sweeping scores. Sometimes to drown out unwanted noise I will slip on my headphones to listen to some sweeping instrumental music to help me create. It is usually something by James Newton Howard or Hans Zimmer. One score that I have loved since my childhood is the score from the movie “The Right Stuff.” This movie really fueled my love for space, and was one of the early scores that I loved. The story behind the score is an interesting one. John Barry who would later write the score for another favorite movie of mine “The Razor’s Edge” was originally tabbed to write the score. The filmmakers and the studio were feuding over how the movie should be scored, and Barry was in the middle of it. He quit very late in the process leaving a huge void. Bill Conti who is famous for his Rocky score came in to the picture with four weeks to score the movie. The filmmakers already had music in the movie for editing, and they wanted to stick with something close to what they had. Most of what was in that version of the movie was selections from the Planets Suite by Gustav Holst. With little time to work with you can really hear a lot of that suite in the finished score. I love the Planets Suite, and that is what I was listening to while making this photo.

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