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Star Trails Over the Pier

Star Trails Over the Pier


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Sometimes I'm lucky. I went to Holland Beach after dark intending on getting some Milky Way pics.

While I was there, I thought I would experiment. I wanted to try a long exposure of just the breakwater light and see what I would get.

There was no moon, so it was very dark on the beach. Other than lights from far off beach houses, the only light was from the lighthouse and the breakwater lights. I could see only about two steps in front of me. There was also a pretty stiff breeze.

I carefully made my way to the water's edge, not too close though, I didn't want to get wet. I set up my tripod and camera and aimed it toward the blinking green of the north breakwater light.

I could see stars above fading away on the horizon, giving way to some wispy clouds being lit up by what I assume were city lights in Wisconsin across Lake Michigan. For the most part, what I was aiming at was darkness. At least that was all I could see in my camera. At most I saw a green blinking light.

I took a quick high ISO shot to see what was in the composition. I adjusted my aim and leveled the camera a bit, took another quick shot and decided I was ready.  I set my ISO at 100 and my aperture as wide open as it would go. Then I clicked the shutter remote and my 5-minute timer at the same time. Because of the wind, I huddled around my camera trying to block the wind from shaking my camera. It made for a long 5 minutes.

I looked at the image on the back of my camera and was pleasantly surprised at what I saw.  

Star trails, golden clouds, and the breakwater light reflecting off of the lake. I feel like I got a little lucky on this one.


"Star Trails Over the Pier", a Michigan Landscape Photography moment by Dennis Caskey

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