Startrails over Coastguard Cottages

The shot:
Startrails rise through the night sky above the landmark location of Coastguard Cottages on the East Sussex coast.

Startrails rise through the night sky above this landmark coastal scene

Startrails rise through the night sky above this landmark coastal scene

The Story:
I’d been wanting to make this shot for months but the best chance of pulling it off was when a particular set of circumstances coincided.

So, with clear skies forecast; a half moon to gently light the foreground & cliff faces; and no school to get the family ready for the next day, this particular night turned out to be perfect. It just so happened I also had a full tank of fuel 🙂

It’s another of those locations I’ve now been to at nighttime but never seen during the day so I got lost a little; and I underestimated the distance from the car park down to the tripod holes left by the last photographer who made this cliche view- net result, slight backache after carrying my 35lb rucksack (don’t ask)!

Still, I’m very pleased with how the image turned out and finally back underway shooting more for this series of startrailed landmarks I started back in 2011.

The Tip:
Use the moon to add light on a grand scale to dark locations. Full moon can light a landscape scene but would overpower startrails; if you want to feature stars, somewhere between quarter and half moon can add the right amount of illumination.

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