Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Stars of Kilimanjaro

For your correspondent, one of the highlights of Kilimanjaro was the fantastically dark night sky. We were at high elevation, distant remove from any city of any size, and had moonless evenings, culminating in a new moon for the summit night (one starts climbing the last stretch at midnight - either because the mornings are clear and the afternoons cloudy, or because the scree is easier to climb when frozen, or just because you need the time to do the long up and the even longer back down all in one day). The stars couldn't have been any better, and the gradual lightening of the sky at sunrise from the summit was one of the most beautiful things your correspondent can recall witnessing.

Our evenings, when we were stationary enough for night photography, were at the established camps on the route up, which range from a nice cluster of tents on a scenic ridge to an unpleasant jumble of groups packed into a small clearing that felt like yuppie refugee camps. They did provide something for the foreground of these star photos, but also routinely led to someone with a flashlight walking through the frame.


Anonymous said...

Do you set the camera for longer exposure, to get the stars? And that is why the flashlight trail is a wiggly trail?

Matt said...

Yes. The one in the middle with the star trails is a 15-minute exposure. The other two are one or two minutes.