News

Star trails captured

Dedication is to be admired, whether it’s Christian Bale shedding four stone in the hunt for an Oscar or a performance ‘artist’ covering himself in silver paint and standing still in Covent Garden for six hours. But spending months camped at the foot of Mount Everest in freezing temperatures for a single photograph tops the lot.

That’s what Ukrainian photographer Anton Jankovoy had to do to capture this picture of star trails over the Himalayas. He spent night after night waiting for the ideal conditions to not only present themselves, but hang around long enough to allow him to take the picture.

And although it may look like some computer-based trickery has been employed to create this image, it is entirely real. And given that knowledge, you can no doubt deduce that the camera’s shutter has to be open for a longer period of time than when you’re taking your holiday snaps. At least 30 minutes longer. That’s the time it takes for the Earth to have moved sufficiently to begin to create the circular patterns in the sky – Jankovoy’s picture took several hours.

The centre point is Polaris (the North Star) which barely moves through the sky due to its position at the north celestial pole. Capturing a photograph like this is within the realms of the amateur, too, if you’ve read the manual for your SLR camera (see our tips, right). Although it’s not something you can try in a big city. Watching the two stars you can scarcely see through the petrol fumes and light pollution won’t have quite the same effect as Jankovoy’s splendour.

Images: Caters News/ Anton Jankovoy