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Constellation Orion #4

The constellation Orion over Foel Fenlli in North Wales

The story behind this image

A very early morning before the start of a crisp Autumn day in early September found me parked up in the Pen Barras car park between the twin hills of Foel Fenlli and Moel Famau, part of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in North East Wales and an area with relatively low levels of light pollution.

It was the promise of clear skies towards dawn that had brought me here, coupled with the fact that the constellation Orion would be rising over the slopes of Foel Fenlli just as the sky was beginning to lighten in that wonderful time in-between astronomical and nautical twilight.

Ideal conditions for dramatic night sky photography, but my intention was to go further and shoot a time lapse sequence showing the passage of Orion over Foel Fenlli along with the ever brightening sky as the sun drew nearer and nearer to the eastern horizon.

I started shooting while it was still fully dark, with the bright stars of Orion glowing to the south, having just risen above the hill.

The sky wasn't completely clear, with thin wispy clouds blowing over the constellation and picking up the orange glow of far off streetlights.

The underlit clouds gave a lovely colour contrast to the deep blue of space beyond, and there movement across the frame added a nice touch of extra interest to my finished time lapse video clip.

I chose this still image from the hundreds of frames that I captured that morning, as it was taken early on in the sequence while the sky was still dark and the stars of Orion were glowing brightly though the thin layer of cloud.

Just a fantastic morning to be up and about, marvelling in the beauty and wisdom of God's creation.

Image data

Filename - stars orion 04.jpg

Camera - Canon 6D

Lens - 24-105mm zoom @ 24mm

Exposure - 15 secs @ f4, ISO6400

Filters - None

Location - Foel Fenlli, Clywdian Range, North Wales

This image - 800x450px JPEG

Conversion - Adobe Lightroom

Comments - Tripod and intervalometer used to prevent camera movement