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Nothing appeals to our imaginations quite like beautiful photography that captures the night sky in all of its glory. And with Selwyn having one of the highest quality sky measurements in New Zealand, it’s no wonder we can offer up some spectacular photographs.
Nick Faulkner has hit the nail on the head when it comes to getting that perfect photograph. With his recent award for his astrophotography photographs taken at Castle Hill, he has us wondering if we can all go out and capture such beautiful scenery.
Nick started photography as a hobby seven years ago after buying his first DSLR (a.k.a. a professional camera for all of us photography rookies) and realised just how mesmerizing the night sky could be to photograph. However, taking the perfect shot isn’t quite as it easy, or quite as lucky as you might imagine it could be. Nick’s choice of location is usually pre-planned for months, if not years, and it is all about waiting for that right moment that holds the perfect conditions. So, before we all get out our cameras and go frog-marching up to some beautiful locations expecting fantastic shots, we asked Nick for some advice on how we can best capture the night sky.
Nick advises that the best conditions are dark and as far away from light pollution as possible. Getting out of the city and away from lights will be your best chance at getting the right photos. Nick likes to get amongst the mountains or over a lake to capture some cool reflections.
It seems as though Castle Hill offers all of this and it is why it made for such spectacular photos. It is surrounded by a little bit of everything, with lakes and mountains within view, and during those winter months, the snows adds that extra something to the composition.
And one further tip Nick has to offer to our budding photographers, is that once you have the fundamentals of astrophotography down, try switching to panoramas and taking multiple photos to stack them in post to pull more detail out in the Milky Way and reduce noise. This will make for an overall cleaner and clearer image.
Who knew that these winter months could offer up an opportunity for a new hobby to arise. And with these tips at hands, perhaps it’s time to try your hand out at a new skill. As Nick puts it, there is
“Nothing more calming and relaxing than being out in nature, in the middle of the night, in the middle of nowhere, with nobody to bother you, and capturing our beautiful night sky.”
- Nick Faulkner, award-winning photographer (Hueman Photography)