San Diego City Skyline Night Photograph with Star Trails
I met friend and photographer Garry McCarthy at 0-dark-30 yesterday morning, with the goal of photographing the downtown San Diego city skyline with star trails circling above. Exceptionally clear skies are required for this sort of photograph since any moisture or dust in the air serves to capture the ugly glow of the city lights below and obscure the stars. We had nearly ideal conditions for our attempt. I used three cameras with lenses of differing focal lengths to make several compositions. These trails are created with a long exposure (e.g., 60 minutes) as the Earth turns. The star that appears to be a dot is Polaris, the North Star; it lies almost exactly on the axis of Earth’s rotation so has very little apparent movement in these images. Note that in the bottom image, shot with a very wide lens, a meteor appears as a streak above and to the left of Polaris. If you like this, check out my other Night Photographs and Astrophotography Landscapes or my website devoted to my full collection of Landscape Astrophotography images. Thanks for looking!