Startrails And Lightpollution

These two startrail images, the first ones taken in this new year, couldn´t be more different. Though both contain almost the same part of the sky, they look totally different. The first image is taken at the  Franz-Josef-Strauß-Airport, Munich, which is a city of its own. Thousands and thousands of lights illuminate the night sky and drown almost all of what is normally seen at the night sky. Only the two brightest objects, Venus (below) and Jupiter (top) are visible in this single, 10 min. exposure. As you might know, they are both planets, not stars, being lit by the sun. Venus is often referred to as the evening star, which can be seen at this time of the year from around sunset, ~17:00 pm, till around 20:00 pm. Like everything, there is no such as bad or good. Same about the lights. They are good for safety, for example, but bad for the environment. Human beings (as well as animals and plants) need the dark for recovery at nights. There are always two sides of the medal; I for myself love to photograph at nights at very dark locations, at remote sites; on the other hand I do have a large property where I put on the yard lights  for safety and working reasons every night.

The second image is taken at a remote place around the “Weltenburger Enge”, where the Danube River meanders through a very popular gorge, called “Donaudurchbruch”. Here in this image, a stacked one out of some 380 single shots, are so many stars visible. But as you notice, they are also starting to fade away towards the lower edge of the photo. The reason is a small town (~250 people) which is about 2 km away. There is no trail to this spot, so you have to navigate through the woods and find your way in and out. I´ve been there twice that night; first was: leaving my camera at the location  with the set-up to capture the startrails and bringing my 8-year-old son back home; and second: coming back and doing another angle of that great spot. It´s been the first time I´d left my equipment unobserved, but I knew none would come across. Sounds of owls and the splashing of the river, watching the stars and hanging onto my thoughts made this an unforgettable night. P.S.: Finding your way back in the dark through a forest can become quite difficult! Enjoy!


Jupiter (left) and Venus (right) above the incoming, landing aircrafts at FJS-Airport, Munich


A lonely tree makes a perfect foreground; Venus (below, behind tree) and Jupiter (top left); there are also two falling stars in this image; a minor one middle left, a major one top right corner


“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”
(Leo Tolstoi, Russian Novelist, 1828-1910)

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