The DarKnights were finally able to enjoy their trip to Avebury last week; it had been postponed for over 18 months due to the Covid crisis. Nine hardy souls headed down the M4 and arrived at 3 pm to do some early scouting of possible locations for some great photographs. As dusk fell some serious shooting started to take place and as it got darker the group split- people dived off to make their chosen images: it was quite amusing to observe lone or pairs of torches moving throughout the stones across the Avebury site!
It was unfortunate that the evening was cloudy as the date had been chosen because there was no moon and therefore the likelihood of being able to pick up lots of stars in the night sky should’ve been higher. No matter people focused on light painting techniques and doing a bit of street photography albeit without very many people around.
I have shown a sample of the photographs from individuals. Exposure is a challenge, it’s virtually impossible to work in these low levels of light without using manual mode, so experimentation is important. The other challenge of course is being able to focus accurately in the dark and I think people have done a splendid job of rising to the challenges.
As ever this group seem to be as much interested in what refreshments are available and by 7.30pm we had all retired to our pre-book table in the Red Lion pub and all enjoyed a thoroughly good meal. With little traffic and the M4 open a relatively quick journey back home getting back about 11 pm.
The group certainly agreed that there’s plenty of opportunity for photography in Avebury and I’m sure we would all like a second trip back. In fact, in our programme, we have a planned visit in the early part of 2022 which is designed to coincide with a full moon evening. However, what I’ve learnt from talking with Robert Harvey is that a full moon is almost too bright for night-time photography and he almost always shoots using light from the gibbous moon – that’s a three-quarter moon. We will look at specific and suitable dates accordingly.
So thank you to everybody who joined us, apologies to those who couldn’t make that specific date I hope that you will be able to make a future visit. We have actually tried a little experiment on this trip where we met by Zoom to plan the evening together, did the photoshoot and then we will be meeting again to review photos and what we learned: this is an example of how we can use the SIG’s as an extension of the “workshop concept” the club has used for many years. Interestingly as we discussed our evening lots more ideas came up about where and when we could go and do shoots – so we can keep adding to our DarKnights programme.
Club Secretary and leader of the DarKnights