Stackpole Quay Astrophotography 11th March 2016
Stackpole Quay is not a place where many people who are interested in Astrophotography think of turning up to in South Pembrokeshire, usually most end up at Stack Rocks near Flimston Chapel, Freshwater West or St Govans. There is of course Barafundle Bay, a twenty minute walk away, but even that is not very much thought of. I have been to Stackpole Quay before to capture the Milky Way back in August last year and caught it really nicely, however it was a horrible night with gale winds. Milky Way season in the UK starts from March till around October with June & July being the best time to capture the Milky Way when the core is at it’s best. With it not even being the middle of March yet, i was not expecting a miracle but it still can be captured even if it is faint, the best time is usually in the silly hours of the morning so balancing everyday life whilst trying to stay awake in a cold and damp corner of Pembrokeshire at 3am in the morning can be difficult.
If you do decide to venture into the darkness make sure you are wrapped up well, just because it has been a sunny day all day it does not mean the night will be the same, temperatures can drop to the minuses. And take some food & a hot drink including entertainment, you will be sitting around some evenings waiting for the clouds to pass over for a clear view of the night sky. Some useful equipment to take along with you is a strong sturdy tripod that can handle a good breeze with no shake, a lens heater that you can wrap around near the front of the lens so it does not mist or dew up & a remote shutter for minimal camera shake. Base settings for any camera is usually iso 1600, 15 seconds, noise reduction set to off along with any other special features in camera switched off. I normally go by those settings then play around in manual mode until i am happy with the shot i have. As a guide, determining the shutter speed for Astrophotography with your camera and lens is best worked out by using the rule of 600 to prevent star trail. Some useful info on this can be found at Capturing the night Website.
A good evening for some Astrophotography shots, Stackpole Quay is not usually regarded as a location for capturing the night sky but i like it there. there are plenty of other locations around Pembrokeshire yet to be tested, i look forward to trying some more over the coming months.
All images ©Chris Ball. Copyright to the photos will remain with the photographer (Chris Ball), and therefore any reproduction without permission would be an infringement of copyright. If you wish to use any images for publication or use, you should first obtain permission from myself before using my work.