I'm always on the lookout for a good location to do some night time lapse photography of the stars and milky way moving though an inky black sky.
The problem lies in finding those inky black skies in this day and age, as man-made light pollution enroaches ever further into our wilderness areas.
One spot I've had in my mind for some time to try out is Alwen Reservoir, far from the bright lights of the North Wales coastal strip and with no towns of any size close by.
Add to that the striking architecture of the reservoir dam, and the chance of some good reflections in the water if the conditions are favourable, and I could be onto a winner.
And so it seemed one clear night in August 2017, as my wife Liz and I took a major detour inland from one of our North Wales seaside excursions, to check out the stars at Alwen.
All started well, with the milky way clearly visible looking south over the dam wall and not a cloud in sight.
The only thing disturbing the peace were two very loud anglers on the far side of the lake, both sporting very bright head torches as well, as you can see in the video.
I was willing to put up with that, as the right hand side of my image frame looked very dark, and the pinpoints of light served to add some interest in an otherwise blank area.
But I wasn't too long into the shoot before I noticed some of the stars to the right of my viewfinder start to disappear as cloud moved across the sky from the west.
The cloud proved to be quite solid, and so I kept on shooting until virtually all the sky in my viewfinder was covered before calling it a night and packing up for the drive home.
So this time lapse ended up quite short and sweet, but at least I'd checked out Alwen Reservoir as a potential site for some decent night time lapse work, and no doubt i'll be back.
I wonder how Alwen looks at night with snow on the dam?
Filename - alwen reservoir night timelapse 01.mp4
Camera - Canon 6D
Lens - 14mm prime
Exposure (start of sequence)
15 secs, f2.8, ISO6400
Exposure (end of sequence)
15 secs, f2.8, ISO6400
Filters - None
Time between exposures - 15 secs
Location - Alwen Reservoir, North Wales
This clip - HD 720p
Clip duration - 8 secs
All content copyright © Howard Litherland 2009-2020 unless otherwise stated.