Making star trails at night.

Making star trails at night.

    Making star trail images is always fun. They are time consuming and complicated to make but it is also difficult to find an interesting composition. For it to work, you really need to find a subject that is interesting just by itself, and gives the image a strong anchor. It helps if the main subject includes leading lines that direct the viewer. When I new that I was going to be going to Reelfoot Lake, I used google maps and was looking for noteworthy features that I could use in some landscape images. I noticed that there were several long piers that lead into the water from shore, and I noticed that there was one that was basically facing north. Once we got to Reelfoot, we scouted the locations and decided that one pier in particular would work for what I was looking for. The weather conditions were horrible for us that evening, there was a very strong and very cold wind blowing from the north across the lake. I framed up the shot to include the North Star and the pier. Then set the timelapse at 30 seconds at f4, iso5000. Then I set it up to shoot with a one second pause between each exposure for 30 minutes. It was cold enough, that while the timelapse was running we waited in the car. If it was not so miserable out, I probably would have shot several different shoots, or even tried to make some exposures that showed the Milky Way or more prominent constellations, but I was tired. I had been up driving and shooting...
Photographing Eagles at Reelfoot Lake

Photographing Eagles at Reelfoot Lake

        Honestly, I love to photograph anything. The more challenging the subject the better, but anything will do. Huntsville Alabama has a very active population of photographers. I was involved in a few groups, and had quite a few friends that were also photographers. There was always something going on, always someone that was going to shoot something. A friend invited me to Reelfoot Lake to shoot for a few days…. I jumped at the opportunity to get out and shoot something out of my comfort zone with a friend. The plan was to arrive on Sunday and shoot until Monday night so that I could be back at work on Tuesday morning. I was about a 4-hour drive, so to maximize my shooting time I started my drive at around 5:30 am. I arrived at Reelfoot Lake at just before 10 am. I was a nice sunny day, with the temperature staying around 35-40 degrees, but there was a tremendous amount of wind, and the wind chill was significant on any exposed skin. Just after arriving at the Reelfoot Wildlife Refuge I saw a bald eagle for the first time in the wild. There is just nothing quite like seeing wildlife in their natural environment, it does not compare to seeing them in a cage in the zoo. I spent a few hours driving around, getting my bearings, stopping to photograph when I could get relatively close. Right from the start, I saw several eagles very close and got some really nice images. The whole reason I was even here was that my friend (and...