|'Night Sky Wonders' Landscape Astrophotography||19 February 2019|
In a change to our programme, Alyn Wallace travelled over from South Wales to deliver his presentation entitled Night Sky Wonder - Landscape Astrophotography. He introduced himself by telling us that he had studied Astronomy and Physics at University and had always had an interest in photographing the night sky, even before he could afford to buy a camera. Among his first astrophotography images was an excellent beach scene taken at a frequently visited, but under-commercialised holiday destination in Turkey.
Living near the Brecon Beacons, he would often spend nights taking images around Pen-y-Fan and share them with friends and family. Eventually, he acquired some sponsorship which has enabled him to turn his hobby into a full-time job.
Alyn proceeded to show us a range of images from various international destinations, always explaining how, and why, he had taken them, usually including an amusing anecdote, or a time-lapse or vlog to illustrate the process. From Northern Lights in Iceland, through star trails in the Dolomites, a moonrise in the arc of the Milky Way on Las Palmas, to strange night-time landscapes in Cappadocia, Turkey, each image had something different and captivating.
The remainder of his presentation was illustrated with images taken in the UK, predominantly taken in his native Wales or around Durdle Door in Dorset.
He started this section by talking about the equipment needed for successful night time photography. Cameras, lenses, tripods and head torch were obvious elements, but he showed us how different lenses can be used to provide different images. He stressed the need for warm clothing, advising that merino base layers and down jacket insulating layers are the best way to go. Hand warmers and hot drinks were also on his top tips list. He also discussed camera settings, post-production tips and light pollution.
Alyn moved on to cover what can be photographed at night, a list that was much longer than one might expect. It included Stars, Constellations, Planets, the Milky Way, the Moon, the Northern Lights, International Space Station, Meteor Showers, Star Trails, Solar and Lunar Eclipses and Bioluminescent Plankton. He had advice, stunning images and interesting stories to illustrate each of these, together with a number of Apps that can be used to help with planning and research.
Alyn’s website and his YouTube channel are worth a visit to see some of his fantastic images, videos and time-lapses. His Blog is the place to find some of his stories, including the trials and tribulation of photographing his Yoga Teacher friend against the rising moon on Pen-y-Fan.
Alyn’s attention to detail and extensive planning have enabled him to take some breathtaking images and made this one of the best presentations we have had at Devizes Camera Club. Our Chairman commented on the obvious passion that Alyn has for his photography and thanked him for a very entertaining evening. DF
Images © Alyn Wallace Top left: Milky Way from the Gower Coast Right: Startrails Left: Northern Lights from the Brecon Beacons