Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 30/06/2011

In Absentia – Day Three


I thought I’d show a photo with a slightly different technique than you’re used to seeing on here and one which I’m planning to employ when I’m away in the Masai Mara, in fact I might be trying it as you read this (presuming that you’re reading this whilst I’m there).

This image was taken back in 2007 when I was solely using a Canon 5D, a fantastic camera today as it was back then and capable of excellent photos. At the time there was only one camera with a higher resolution than the 12Megapixels the 5D had, and that was the Canon 1Ds Mark 2 which had 16Megapixels. Now I’m not one to chase the top resolution cameras; for me dynamic range and low light capabilities are more important than resolution when you get above 12Megapixels – having said that, 12megapixels do give you more detail and that’s something that’s also important with macro and wildlife photography.

Back to the image in question; I’m sure you’re aware how this image was achieved? The technical details are very simple to explain, the issue is actually taking the photo. Obviously this photo has been taken using a long exposure with the camera mounted on a tripod – the problem in such dark environments as this is focusing, and framing as looking through the view finder shows little in the way of light (which is needed in these cases, unless you’re using NDx10 filters). In many circumstances you could use a torch or something comparable light source to provide some illumination whilst you frame and focus the image, however this was not one of them. So in this case, the conditions required to create the image are the conditions that make it difficult to take.

You may have wondered why I’m going to be taking pictures of Merry-go-rounds in the Masai Mara – I’m not, well, in a way I might well be. I’m planning to leave the camera on a tripod during part of the night whilst out in the middle of nowhere, so that I can take photos of star trails something that is normally difficult to do in the presence of orange neon glow that are prevalent in villages, towns and cities. There is a further technique I want to try and that is to combine multiple start trail photos to produce a circular star trails – a real merry go around and around.



  1. congrats for

  2. Seriously outstanding photographs!

  3. Great picture. Well captured. Usually it’s hard to get a photo of a moving object but your camera did an awesome job.

    • Thanks – I was pleased with the photo – it was as I had envisaged – the 5D is such a great camera, even if it is a bit long in the tooth these days.

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