Star Trails over the Cheetham Wetlands lookout tower, Point Cook.
The observation tower was built by Bill Kelly as a dedication to "Migration and Aspirations"
This image shows the stars over a 4.5 hour period as the Earth rotates around the North Celestial Pole. Giving the effect of scribing star trails in the sky.
I had planned the shot a few weeks before, during a daytime walk using PhotoPills so I knew what time and angle to setup.
I cannot leave the shutter open for 4 hrs so I had to take approximately 100 long exposures and process them in StarstaX and photoshop to create the continuous trails.
At the last minute I decided to take a mid-ground exposure just before sunrise to add some colour and interest to the horizon. The coloured gradient also helps the tower pop out from the background.
The foreground with the tower is a seperate set of 30 second exposures where I light painted the tower with a large torch.
The three images are then composited in Photoshop to create a single image. A levels and curves adjustment and was the final touch.
In total I was on site shooting for about six hours and then a about three hours processing time. When the final image comes out the way it was planned, it is worth the time and effort. It does not always work out this way, some nights are not so good. I don't intend to post those images ;)
Fuji XT2 10-24 f4