Photographing star trails in a busy harbour with street lights and passing cars is exactly the type of challenge that I enjoy as a photographer. I’ve been wanting to shoot some Victoria star trails for a while now, and finally settled on two locations that are ideal for what I wanted: Ogden Point Lighthouse and the Songhees Point totem poles.
I started my night shooting at Songhees Point. This photo was shot with my f2.8 24mm-70mm on a Canon 5Dmk3, at f3.5 for 20 seconds with the ISO set to 1000, I was able to minimize the light pollution coming from across James Bay with the shorter shutter speeds while still being able to get a lot of stars. I did take one frame at 10 seconds that I used to get a proper exposure of the water and buildings.
Everything was then loaded into a stack in Photoshop and blended. I masked in the portion of the water and building to get the final image.The Ogden Point lighthouse image was created virtually the same way, with the exception being I used a 30 second exposures instead of a 20 seconds. It was much darker at this location, and a bit colder too! But I was amazed at how many stars were out, and that I could see the Milky Way with my naked eye, despite being in the heart of a big city.
While my camera was watching the stars spin, I was counting shooting stars. As you can see in the star trail photo, a few went through the frame. Below is a single shot with two shooting stars and the Milky Way.For my first foray into shooting Victoria star trails, I’m very pleased with the results I got. I’m going to check out a few more locations soon.
And if you want to check out more of my star trail work, be sure to check out my Giant Star Trails.