A couple of weeks ago myself and few DarKnights SIG members (Richard Reynolds, Gladys Perrier, Wendy Lamb and David Chidwick) made our way over to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. Its about my limit for “going spontaneously”, roughly being a 60 minute drive.
Previous research and a trip by myself showed that parking is quite straightforward (down the heavily potholed byway off the A303) and that access to parts of the site outside the English Heritage secured zone is straightforward. You can access reasonably photogenic spots looking South and West about 150 yards from the stones.
There were three potential types of images we had available to us:
- Glorious sunset/blue hour
- The henge in its Astrolandscape setting with Orion on display
- The “Pink” Moon rising large in the West.
Stonehenge in April
So first things first, note that I described good views looking South and East. Well the rising moon was in the west. Using Photopills and TPE I had worked out where we would need to stand to have the moon rise above the henge’s stones but thought that the view would be obscured by the gentle slope rising up the monument. Indeed this proved to be the case and a post on one of my Facebook feeds showed the only way to get that image was using a Drone (it appeared in the national newspapers). Ok, one idea down two go! We were treated to a marvellous pink orange moon rise however.
The group got some late sunset and then some wonderful Astro-landscape images. We were also assisted in some light painting by the very friendly and chatty security guards…a technique we later used ourselves with a variety of torches but most successfully with Richard’s luminosity skills. I think it was the higher angle he was able to achieve with his torch!
The moon didn’t rise until gone 9.30pm and I think it is safe to say that with the relatively dark sky we were all in awe at the constellations and stars we could see in abundance. In truth we were all buzzing with the experience if a little cold.
Watch this space – we will going again
This is definitely a trip to be repeated including in August -October when the core of the Milky Way becomes visible and the public access give a great and easy composition.
Below are more of the images taken on the night….
DarKnights SIG leader