As Earth spins under the sky, the stars appear to move. When a camera captures that movement, that’s called a Star Trail. Star Trails are the continuous paths created by stars, produced during long time exposure photographs. Just like capturing the Milky Way, Star Trails are really really hard to capture in a place full of light pollution. Because of persistence, I attempted the improbable. After shooting for 3 consecutive mornings (1AM-4AM) and various experimentation of camera settings, I got the exposure that I wanted. I used an Inverted GND to control the highlights of the city lights and Intervalometer to automate the shutter release intervals.
This image is composed of 350 shots (stacked) in 25 seconds f4 or a total of 2 hours and 43 minutes exposure.
I just did my 8th Mt. Pulag climb since I started this hobby 10 years ago. I led a team of 15 adventurous spirits composed of my friends and officemates. We choose the easiest trail to trek the mountain, Ambangeg, since 11 out of the 15 in the group are Pulag first timers. Honestly, I don’t like trekking via the Ambangeg Route since I find it tiring during the summit assault. I prefer Akiki Trail, though more difficult and longer day to ascend, the views here are more spectacular and the camp site is near the summit.
The itinerary I made for the climb was properly executed, we were actually way ahead of the estimated time for everything, especially our time of arrival in the camp site. I was actually shocked that we were that fast considering that majority in the group were Pulag first timers. After setting up our tents and ate heavy dinner, we settled early for the 3:30 am summit assault the next day. Photographers in the group have a different plan, waking up earlier than the wake up call so we can shoot star trails. At around 1:15am, I was awakened by the sound outside our tent. Few minutes later, I heard someone calling me, “Bai! Ang liwanag ng langit.” I peeked outside my tent and saw the Milky Way. I didn’t think twice, I immediately grabbed my photography gears and went outside to shoot. I didn’t mind the cold temperature, it is a good photography subject that matters all.
Where and When: Mt. Pulag – June 9, 2013
Gears: Nikon D7000 + Tokina 12-24mm
Settings: 12mm, 30 secs, f4, ISO 5000