Winner of the People's Choice Award in Britain's 2018 Insight Astronomy Photographer of the year photo contest! This long-dead juniper cradles the North Star during a clear, fall night in Montana.
I set this star trails shoot up after dark, trying to center Polaris between the arms of this unique tree, and then, by remote, took several hundred 40-second exposures with just 1/10th of a second pause between each one. Stacking the individual images into a single photo reveals a night's worth of movement across the sky. A few hours worth of dim moonlight accounts for the clarity of the foreground.
During this shoot, and many of my other star trails, I wrap my camera with chemical hand warmers, using an Ace bandage or rubber bands to secure them. Their heat prevents frost from forming on the lens, in this case a 20mm Nikkor, and also helps preserve battery life.
If you like this image, please take a look at this limited-edition print taken this January, Midnight Service.
Shipping for framed prints is extra.