|Looking towards the constellation of Perseus over Latchford, a meteor showing left of centre in the image|
The 12th of August was certainly a glorious one for skywatching, if not for moorland grouse (or perhaps, in a wider context, birds of prey as well). An almost perfectly clear sky and no moon meant that late in the evening I was out with camera, tripod and remote control to try and capture a perseid meteor or at the very least, some good shots of the night sky.
There are undoubtedly techniques to be learnt when shooting at night and trial and error on the appropriate balance of ISO, aperture and shutter speed are required to get good results.
Playing with the images afterwards, I was struck by how short an exposure was required to show the movement of the stars (well, rotation of the earth, but you know what I mean) through the sky. This image was a mere 45 seconds exposure with the camera pointed towards Polaris and already clear star trails can be seen.
I was also amazed at how easily the camera picked up different star colours and how these differences could be accentuated using simple filters in a photo editing programme. Knowing that the light emanating from these stars can be interpreted to indicate their composition and temperature I was left with an insight into some aspects of astronomy from simple photographic equipment.