A Halo for an Angel

The Shot:
A halo of startrails surrounds Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead.

A halo of startrails surrounds Antony Gormley's Angel of the North sculpture in Gateshead, England.

A Halo for an Angel.

The Story:
A planned 900 mile round trip just for the Angel became 1300 miles when I had the chance for two nights away from home. Heading north I travelled through all manner of weather but crossing County Durham en-route from the M6 I could see the starlit sky from behind the brightness of my full beam headlights.

Arriving at the sculpture I set up my gear beneath a cloudless sky and began to shoot- for once the forecast had been spot on- but the window of opportunity wasn’t forecast to last long. Given the scale of the journey getting the shot mattered more than ever before so, with a freshly charged battery and an empty memory card loaded, it was a case of leaving the camera to run for as long as possible.

In the meantime, the effects of the journey were starting to hit me so I fetched my stove from the boot of the car and ate soup in the shadow of the Angel. Finally, after 1h 20m (plus a series of test shots early on) it was the battery that gave in first, just as the clouds began to appear. An photographic angel watched over me that night for sure.

The Tip:
Location matters but take time to consider the final details. It was seeing someone else’s startrail from the Angel that made me see the potential- they’d shot a great startrail but not aligned the sculpture’s head with Polaris.


One thought on “A Halo for an Angel

  1. I’ll be heading up to Sunderland later this month and fancy swinging by the Angel one evening for some long exposure fun. Get the feeling I wont be lucky enough for star trails… especially if the girlfriend has anything to do with it.

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