Under a Southern Sky

Summer in Australia is my favourite time to go out for night-time photo shoots. In a nation which offers a combination of dark skies and an average of 200 days of good weather every year, the conditions make it great to occasionally look into the heavens and relive boyhood desires of being an astronaut. This was shot on the night of February 1st 2014 at the Split Point Lighthouse at Aireys Inlet, just off Victoria’s Iconic Great Ocean Road. I had organised a shoot with a few friends there, and the heavens smiled on us – literally.

This particular image was shot with an Olympus E-PL5 using a Rokinon fish-eye lens, placed at the bottom of the lighthouse. No additional light was used – this was shot purely with available light. I’ve done some post-processing in Lightroom where I have applied some geometric distortion correction and some tonal effects. I’ve also applied an adaptive wide-angle filter in Photoshop, cropped it to a 16:9 ratio, and have cleaned up the noise in Noiseware.

I thought I had planned for everything last night – and I did come a cropper on something I had not thought about. It turns out that on a hot day, after sunset, the moisture from the ocean condenses in the presence of the warm air off the land to precipitate in very fine dew. This results in your camera lenses picking up a fair bit of moisture, which needs to be cleaned periodically. I suppose you learn something new all the time.

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