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The promise of rare clear morning skies over North Wales was all the incentive I needed for an early start and the short drive to my local hill, Moel Famau, the highest peak in the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB).
As well as spectacular views in daylight, this area boasts some reasonable dark skies, not as dark as the dark skies reserve of Snowdonia away to the west, but dark enough to see the milky way when conditions are favourable.
But it was northwards that I pointed my camera on this cold winter's morning, taking in the stars and constellations circulating around the north star, Polaris, as it hung in the skies above the trees of the Clwydian forest.
In the end I carried out nearly two hours of continous shooting in order to capture the hundreds of still images needed to create my Clwydians Stars Timelapse #1 video, taking in the change from full darkness, on through astronomical twilight and nautical twilight, only stopping when the sky became too bright to see the stars, close to the onset of civil twilight.
Throughout the shoot there were various degrees of cloud drifting overhead, glowing a ghostly yellow with the reflected light of nearby civilisation, which I thought at one point had ruined my time lapse, but on further thought the rapidly moving, fleeting clouds provide a poignant contrast to the majestic dance of the timeless stars.
This single frame is one of those from that shoot, chosen for its arrangement of clear skies, stars, clouds and trees in silhouette.
Filename - clwydians stars 01
Camera - Canon EOS 6DMK2 DSLR
Lens - 14mm prime
Exposure - 15 secs @ f/2.8, ISO6400
Filters - None.
Location - Moel Famau, Clwydian Range, North Wales
Image enhancements - Adobe Lightroom
Comments - This image is one of hundreds captured to create my Clwydians Stars Timelapse #1 video.
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2021 unless otherwise stated.