Breaker Bay star trails

Breaker Bay in Wellington is by a fantastic headland that separates the harbour from the south coast. It has eroded into a series of sea stacks, with rocky outcrops and beaches on both sides offering endless possibilities.

Breaker Bay star trailsThe main reason for this trip was to shoot the night sky. I thought that the headland would provide an excellent foreground, and knew that the southern rotation would feature prominently in the background.

I wanted the moon to be bright enough to light the headland, but still allow for a long enough exposure to get a star trail and for the stars to be still visible. This particular night fitted the bill – it was one week before the full moon. Any later and my exposure times were going to be too short. Any earlier and the moon might be too weak to light the foreground.

This particular shot was a 23 minute exposure at F9. I normally like to shoot wide open for star trails, to maximise the brightness of the stars, but needed the extra depth of field on this occasion to ensure that the foreground was sharp.


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