This image is a trifecta of somewhat-niche photography I like to involve myself in: A circular fisheye infrared star trail image. I think the combination of these three things couldn’t have come out better!
Fisheye lenses are difficult to use, and over-use can be a bit nauseating. Full circular fisheye lenses are even worse, and their use is so limited that I don’t actually own one, but occasionally rent one when I get an idea. Photographed in Killarney Provincial Park on the shores of Georgian Bay, this iconic location is given a serious twist from the strange 180 degree perspective.
I’ve always enjoyed shooting star trail images. Something about the earth spinning our perception of the cosmos and greater forces at work that we seldom realize in our every-day lives. My mind often wanders to these thoughts when staring up at a clear night sky, and these images vindicate my imagination. Roughly an hour of 30-second exposures went into this composite star trail image, tracing the path of the stars in the night sky. The North Star is just barely visible at the top of the frame, even though the camera was pointed towards the Southern skies. That’s the magic of a fisheye lens!
Finally, it’s always fun to experiment. I’ve shot the Milky Way in infrared before, proving to me that astrophotography in infrared is extremely challenging. Wide apertures and high ISOs are necessary, and even still you’re often left with dark, murky images. Post-processing magic and a bit of creativity can allow for success, but these kinds of images push against the current limits of technology. That’s my favourite place to take my photography! This image is photographed with light entirely invisible to our own eyes. The sun, just like every other star gives off infrared light below our visual perception, and a specially modified camera can capture and record this invisible light.
This image represents a completely foreign way to see the world, and yet it is a way the world can be perceived. Our own view of the world around us is quite limited, and photography is a tool that allows me to explore beyond those limitations.