I’ve had a lifelong interest in both astronomy and photography, but it’s only since I discovered a few years ago what digital photography could achieve with astronomical subjects compared to using film cameras that I started to put the two interests together.
Although I first started imaging astronomical subjects with a digital SLR through a telescope and was reasonably satisfied with the results, I soon came to realise that what really inspired me was the interplay between our earthly landscape and the night sky. That’s when I started to seek out interesting natural and man-made foregrounds to set against a backdrop of starry skies.
I spend a lot of time planning my shots by looking at OS maps, visiting potential locations during the daytime, checking compass bearings, checking planetarium software to see what’s in the night sky and in the right position at a particular time and date, checking the moon phase, and, not least, checking the weather forecast for clear skies!
Most of my nightscape imaging so far has been in the Yorkshire Dales, with their combination of breath-taking landscapes and dark skies free from light pollution and I visit other areas when I can.