Star field photography – return to the Peckleton Tree!

Peckleton Tree Starfield - Landscape Orientation

Stars over the Peckleton Tree

This year I’ve decided to do a 365 (photo a day) project with the aim of improving my landscape photography as well as my portrait and other photography. This was my photograph for day 13. 

It had been a freezing few days, and when I was driving home from the supermarket I noticed that the skies were completely clear, and that the stars were out in force. Well, I couldn’t resist getting in on the star field action so I dashed home, dropped off the shopping and the wife, grabbed my camera and headed back out. Where to go though? Easy – remembering a landscape photography commission I’d undertaken in the middle of last year I remembered an excellent large tree in the neighbouring village of Peckleton. This was to be my subject for the night.

I initially decided to do some star trail action with my Canon 5D Mark II, so set the camera up with the 17-40mm lens on the tripod and set to taking a number of 30 second exposures which I would then layer together in Photoshop to show the movement of the stars.

Star Trails at the Peckleton Tree

Star Trails at the Peckleton Tree

However, I wasn’t too impressed with the composition of this picture, it didn’t say anything to me.

As it was getting cold, late and I wanted to go home I didn’t want to be messing around setting up the 5D again in a different location, however I still needed to get a photo for the 365 that I’d be happy with so I decided to try out my Fuji X100 on a long exposure.

I changed viewpoint, getting a little closer to the tree and quickly put my X100 on the tripod. I dialled in the manual settings I thought would get me a good result and the following picture was made…

Star field photograph of the Peckleton Tree

The Peckleton Tree at Night – Photographed with the Fuji x100

I was delighted with this one – the stars had taken on an ethereal glow and the ‘almost silhouette’ of the tree worked brilliantly against the orange streetlights of Earl Shilton. Not bad for a ‘point and shoot’!