The camera never lies… Or does it !?!?…

The Sweet You Can Eat..

… Between Meals… or is that just in the UK ??…

Anyway, here’s a shot I captured whilst on holiday in The New Forest, of the original Milky Way.. and not the chocolate based snack that apparently doesn’t ruin your appetite…

80 sec / f4 / 10mm / ISO 1,000

Funny story behind this particular little series of shots, as you’d probably expect there to be when I’m involved… Seldom does one of my photomagraphicalistic outings go uneventfully… This was a typical night for me, and although I was always determined to capture some star trails whilst away in such a picturesque and relatively remote part of the country; after a rather pleasant day out and about I was procrastinating like crazy about going out “again”… Once dinner was complete, and the kiddies were tucked up in bed, and shoes off and feet up etc… Well getting motivated to go out wasn’t easy, and it wasn’t until almost midnight when I thought “Tonight will most likely be your LAST chance to get some star shots, and the skies are nice and clear… Go for it you lazy good for nothing a**”…

So, it was at midnight that I finally donned my shoes and headed out… in to the middle of nowhere !!!… Probably NOT the best move in the world… alone and… well.. alone… in the dark… in a place I don’t know… Oh, and did I mention, in the middle of nowhere !!..

10 minutes / f 5.6 / 10mm / ISO 100

SO, here we were… all alone… wandering through unknown heathland and forest (in the middle of nowhere) capturing a series of 10 – 15 minute exposures of the stars etc.. surrounded by who knows what… And let me tell you, it’s rather surprising how many animals are nocturnal out there in the wilderness !!!… and boy do they make a lot of strange noises too… Owls, Foxes, Badgers, Ponies, Mice and who knows what else was out there with me… Well, I’d wandered none too far from the car, and was in the midst of a 15 minute exposure… and my eyes had adjusted to the darkness, when I saw a bank of mist rolling in across the fields… and boy does that stuff travel fast too, and I stood there watching it get nearer and nearer, until eventually its damp and misty tendrils engulfed me and my camera… And then I thought “CR*P !!… Where’s the car !!”… Oh, and isn’t it amazing the effect that “damp and misty” has on your bladder, especially when you’re miles from the nearest convenience… but we’ll gloss over that… ;)

15 minutes / f5.6 / 10mm / ISO 100

As you can see though, fortunately I did manage to find my way back to the car (see the mist retreating in the background)… and made it back to our cottage at somewhere around 2am… legs crossed and busting for a pee… to find my wife fast asleep in bed, without a care in the world… I could have been eaten by a rabid rabbit for all she knew, and yet there she was sound asleep dreaming of marshmallow filled chocolate penguins… or something… ;)

Anyway, another quick apology… My internet has crapped out on me again, and yet again I’m in the midst of trying unsuccessfully to get it sorted… It appears I can upload OK, just struggle to download anything, due to the speed restriction they’ve once again imposed on my line, that no one knows anything about, nor how to remove it !!.. Their very own diagnostic software tells me it’s there, but I’ve now spoken to no less than 6 “tech experts”, and not a one knows how it has been imposed or how to remove it ??… SO, I will attempt to crawl through your posts during the next indeterminable amount of time, but if I pass away and rot first, then I apologise in advance… ;)

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40 responses

  1. Now I want chocolate! Thanks alot! :-P

    The second and third are just AMAZING!! The first one is really nice, too, but seems a bit blurry because of the too-short star trails, but I still like it.

    Sorry to hear about your Internet troubles. Hope finally gets fixed soon… or you find a different ISP? Always amazing how much these “experts” really know, isn’t it?

    September 4, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    • Thanks Michaela.. I know what you mean about the first shot… I think it’s a combination of the short trails, and the fact that the Milky Way tends to be a bit of a blur of stars.. Oh, and the ISO of 1,000 probably doesn’t help either I’m sure… ;)
      As for the ISP… Yeah it’s an idea, but unfortunately my ISP happens to “own” the entire network, and all the firmware / hardware that goes with it, that likely imposes these restrictions… They just lease it’s use to all the other ISP’s… Kinda a no win scenario for me… :(

      September 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

  2. I can’t decide if I love your photographs or the stories that go with them best! (uh, if you were surrounded by woods, may I ask why you didn’t take care of the busting bladder there? That’s one sure advantage of being a boy as opposed to a girl, LOL!)
    These pictures are so cool, so I am of course full of questions: are 15 minute settings something built into your camera or something you had to arrange via the bulb setting? (though I can’t imagine holding it open manually for 15 minutes!) 30 seconds is the longest mine will hold open on its own. Despite it being midnight, the light appears to be that of dusk; is this because of the 15 minute exposure or the fact that you shoot in RAW and can find all that light when you edit?
    That shot of the milky way is unbelievably gorgeous. We have Milky Way bars in the US too, but that slogan sounds strictly UK!

    September 4, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    • Haha… Well.. Ummm… I was there for 2 hours, and trust me I didn’t stand cross legged for all that time, but decided that it would be best to completely gloss over certain details.. Have you ever tried to pee in the dark though… ;)
      As for the long exposures, I did use the bulb mode, but I have a remote that locks the camera open until I unlock it… as 30 secs is also the most I can do automatically… As for the light, this is pretty much because of the long exposure, but RAW did help to pull a little bit more detail out in the car shot specifically… Thanks Karen… :)

      September 4, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      • Oh yeah – I just bought a remote this summer that does that too, LOL!

        September 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

  3. JustJayne

    Lovely set Brian, and well worth the risk of some ‘Rabid Rabbit’ attack, although I think personally id opt for the marshmallow filled chocolate penguin option, unless of course there was some amazing abandoned asylum at the end of the ‘RR’ route, then id have to seriously consider putting my intolerance of cruelty to animals to one side, and be prepared to bludgeon said rabbit to death, if he tried thwarting my attempt to reach said asylum!! :o)

    September 4, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    • LOL… I couldn’t agree more… providing there weren’t any more than 3 1/2 rabid rabbits standing in the way… Everyone has limits dontchaknow… Thanks muchly JJ… :D

      September 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm

  4. Oooooo…nice ones B! I like em all and it’s quite cool to see that mini car you drive ;)

    Not so sure about you and these rabbits. Beginning to suspect you’ve got a bit of a hare complex! Better you than me alone in the wilds as I’d have likely been screaming like a girl (being that I am one) had the mist rolled over me or some crazed animal brushed my leg! :D

    September 4, 2011 at 2:43 pm

    • Ha… Mini car / Hare complex… lol… :P

      As for screaming like a girl… Well all I can say is that very few people can hear you scream, in the middle of nowhere… at 2am… in the dark… in the middle of nowhere…

      Thanks G… :D

      September 4, 2011 at 2:51 pm

  5. First, I sooooo admire your willingness to head out at midnight into lord knows where to shoot! These are stunning images and your story (as always) a delightful read. Glad to hear you made it back safe and sound and with your pants dry. ;-)

    September 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    • Well at least by leaving it so late, no one saw the balding lunatic wandering aimlessly around the moors at night… Thanks so much Tracy.. :)

      September 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      • Hmmmm…I thought I saw a newsstory on CNN about some balding lunatic with a camera and his legs crossed wandering aimlessly around the moors late one night… ;-)

        September 4, 2011 at 6:50 pm

        • Damn !!!… I was convinced I’d gotten away with it…

          September 4, 2011 at 7:01 pm

  6. Very, very cool shots, F.S… definitely worth all your efforts in braving the foggy darkness!
    I’m happy to hear the wildlife didn’t get to you, though, F.S… kinda scary… especially if all those critters heard rumors you might have a Milky Way or two on you!
    Awesome work!
    :)

    September 5, 2011 at 3:25 am

    • LOL… Thanks so much SIG… Mind you, had I known it was foggy, I may well have stayed indoors… Anyway, the critters were foiled by my milky way… It’s the wrapper you see.. and the lack of an opposable thumb…. They were NOT impressed… ;)

      September 5, 2011 at 9:07 pm

  7. wow! Cool experience, Brian! In a way, I can related to your story, because many times I don’t where to go, but it never happened in the middle of the night. ;) About finding your car, something similar happened to me, but I was looking for my bag with ALL my equipment inside. Deuh!!! I almost panic… lol

    Great story and pictures!

    Can I ask what ISO did you choose?

    September 5, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    • Thanks so much Anne… I think I’d have panicked more if I’d lost my camera gear… At least my car was locked and secure… lol… As for your question, I’ve actually noted all the settings under each picture… but it was 1,000 for the milky way, and 100 for the other 2 shots…

      September 5, 2011 at 9:12 pm

  8. we dont even have our own internet at home yet.. lol, i’m borrowing a neighbours wifi ;)
    i really need to get onto that..

    anyways lovely shots you managed to capture

    September 6, 2011 at 11:21 am

    • LOL… Well if it works then why not… as long as they don’t find out… ;)
      Thanks Chloe…

      September 6, 2011 at 5:35 pm

  9. I am now craving a penguin biscuit. Can’t get them here, either.

    Wow. And more wow. Fantastic shots. I can’t decide which one I like best. They are all amazing.

    It’s funny like that out in the dark in the middle of nowhere. But it certainly looks worth the risk of rabid rabbits and full bladders.

    September 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    • WHAT !!… You can’t get penguin choccy biscuits there… Oh now that’s not good… I’d gladly send you a box or two, but I’m sure there are laws against exporting / importing penguins… lol… Thanks so much Robin… :)

      September 6, 2011 at 10:19 pm

  10. aswirly

    If you were out in the middle of NOWHERE, why didn’t you just pee behind a tree? I would have ;) I doubt I’d make it back to the cottage though. eeek… Love the star shots, but of course you know my affinity for them ;) It’s neat to see the fog retreating in the car shot and the milky way is fantastic!!! So glad you dragged yourself out to get these shots. :)

    September 7, 2011 at 7:30 am

    • Ummmm… Well, I was there for 2 hours, but decided in the interest of public sanity that I’d gloss over certain details… lol… Peeing behind a bush is fine, but try doing it in complete darkness… ;)

      I was thinking / hoping you might enjoy these ones.. Thanks A.. :D

      September 7, 2011 at 6:55 pm

  11. The pictures are amazing, how do you do this? I seem to have much to learn photography from you …

    September 7, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    • Thanks Didex… It’s quite simple really, you just need a tripod and a remote release.. Oh, and a clear night sky obviously… ;)

      September 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm

  12. Jayne

    I love the first – you can really see the milky part of the milky way. Whenever I’m somewhere special or a special event is happening and I get a fit of the lazies, I always use the mental argument of: this may be your LAST chance to do this. Inevitably I’m always pleased to have put in the effort. Besides your great photos, there are not many people who can say they’ve been out alone at night in the New Forest. I bet it was quite magical.

    September 8, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    • You’re so right, but even then it’s so darn difficult isn’t it, once you’re procrastinating… even when you KNOW it’s probably your last chance… lol… I sure am glad I talked myself in to it, as I was quite pleased with the shots, and oh yes, it was rather pleasant out there… and very relaxing too… Thanks so much Jayne.. :)

      September 8, 2011 at 11:00 pm

  13. I’m glad you survived the rabid rabbits and returned to share these pictures with us – I particularly like the second one, with the golden glow in the sky.

    September 9, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    • Lol.. Yeah they were nasty little critters… Thanks so much JP…

      September 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

  14. I think you are very brave, Brian! That top shot was worth all your adventuring!

    September 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    • Brave or stupid Leslie…. It’s a fine line I think… especially where I’m concerned… lol…

      September 10, 2011 at 9:29 am

  15. I love it! Whenever I try to take a picture of the night sky, you can never see the stars, but in your photos they are really beautiful. And I think that almost every car brand would like to have such a wonderful setting for their car advertisements, haha! ;)

    September 17, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    • Haha… Thanks YP… Yeah star shots do take a bit of practice, and you really do need a crystal clear sky, and minimal light pollution too..

      September 19, 2011 at 2:45 pm

  16. Amazing shots!

    October 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

  17. that really made me giggle. i’d have shat myself out there alone not just wet myself. stunning captures B

    October 28, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    • Haha.. Well it’s lucky you didn’t accompany me on my very first milky way shot a few years ago.. in a churchyard in the middle of nowhere, at 1am… Thanks Ly.. :)

      October 28, 2011 at 7:35 pm

  18. Abi

    Hi! Sorry to ask this so long after you posted the pictures, but curiosity has gotten the better of me. Where in the New Forest were these taken? I live just on the out skirts of the New Forest and it’s got so much light pollution due to Southampton being so close. Thank you :)

    August 7, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    • Lol. No problem at all Abi. These were taken near a car park just off the B3054, just a mile or so east of Pilley… Hope that helps.. :)

      August 7, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      • And the light pollution you see in the centre shot.. Southampton.. Lol.

        August 8, 2012 at 12:01 am

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