A Successful Failure

A couple of weeks back I went out to Island Lagoon with a mate to shoot the last two frames on my GW690III (10hrs travelling to spend $10). I had an idea for a sunset and star trail. The Island being the perfect silhouette for it. Unfortunately there wasn’t the water in the lake that we were hoping for but clear skies were in order. I wanted shoot the island facing west to get some of the after glow and the best star trail motion. The moon was about 20% which lit up the surface of the white salt lake. Using Velvia 50 at f8 I opened up the shutter for about 2hrs. The result was not what I expected and not a useable image (heavily edited sample on the right just to bring the detail out). However, as a learning point its perfect. The stars are sharp, f8 looks good and 2hrs is about the minimum (3hrs would be best). The film however, is the let down. Velvia 50 can’t handle the really long exposures. So next time, Velvia 100 or Provia 100 for 3hrs should be just right. Starting the image about 1hr after sunset also works. Either way, I’ll be going back at the next opportunity to perfect this image. It’s also what I needed to confirm before travelling to the Flinders Ranges and Lake Eyre where I’ll be taking more of these.

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