Startrails at Tatahatso
After taking some beautiful sunset shots at Tatahatso point (will post after a break), I decided to call it a day. I ate the blueberries that I had bought 2 days ago (of course stored in an ice chest), drank some coconut water, and then started to make my bed in the back of the car for the night. As a hobbyist puzzle solver and always in need of something to keep me occupied, I typically carry a Rubik's cube on my travel trips when I can. As I rested on my bed, I started to scramble my Rubik's cube so I can solve it. After a couple of scrambles and solves, I started to hear voices from my tour group, as if they were shooting something. I wondered what is that they were shooting this late at night. Turns out, the full lit moon acting as a good light source and creating some shadows on this gooseneck at Tatahatso point.
I wondered if this may be a good opportunity to do some star trails. I knew there were lots of clouds, but it was very windy and hence I was hopeful that I may get some clean frames. However, as the winds were very strong this seemed like a bad idea after taking a couple of test shots, and I was not comfortable leaving it the whole night at the edge taking long exposures of the scene. After debating for some time, a fellow tour member and friend - Jon Fischer, who was more prepared for this workshop than I was, offered me a rope to secure my camera for the night. After a bit of scouting for a nice position, I managed to find a gap wherein I placed my tripod and camera in a way that wind was partially blocked. So here I was, with one end of the rope tied to my tripod and the other to a giant boulder. Very skeptical of this placement, I punched in my intervalometer for 60s of continuous exposure and went back to solving Rubik's cube and ultimately slept then after.
At around 12:30-ish am, I woke up as the wind whistled through the slit of my car's window. It was as if someone woke me up to go check my camera, which I did. As I reached I was relieved to see that my camera was still there and didn't fell off the clip as well as it was still doing its job. Upon reviewing the immediate frame, I noticed that moon has now started to enter the frame and the highlights were blowing out. So I called it the end of star trails, untied the rope from the boulder and returned back, to sleep for the night. At the end of this, I captured 212 frames, of which only 78 were usable with less-to-no clouds in them. This is how it turned out. The brighter glow on the left side is due to moon approaching the scene.