Tag Archives: stars

Cloudcatcher & Stargazer

Cloudcatcher. Stargazer. Occasional summoner of Weather. Dreamer – struggling mightily with reality.

Clouds are nearby friends in the sky, the stars are faraway beacons of hope. Surreal and otherworldly, ingredients of dreams but real. This may get a mite esoteric and peculiar, bear with me on this mind trip. During the day there is nothing quite like clouds that will catch my eye. At night it is the stars calling me leaving me gazing deep into the universe, back in time and lost in dreams. Cloudcatcher. Stargazer. Dreamer.

Clouds are a key subject in my photos, I could shoot nothing but clouds all day. I am convinced they are alive. Clouds catch my eye and I run around looking for a foreground subject. Occasionally I feel I have magic powers and can summon the clouds and the weather. Certainly, in USA I had so much good luck with the light and the clouds it surely cannot be a coincidence. Example, I really only shot at Grand Canyon for 3 hours but managed to first summon a huge snow storm for dramatic storm shots, then move the storm out of the way just in time for a sunset. I summoned a sand storm in White Sands. Last year I was able to summon rain in the Namibia desert, extremely rare. All in a days work. Here is an example of clouds I summoned in Arches, Utah, a great dramatic snow storm:

Clouds - Arches - blog

The stars always bring me hope. Hope of space travel and life on other planets. Hope for the future of our self destructive race. A pitch black night allows me to leave the Earth and fly away to other galaxies. The Saint Agustin plains and Very Large Array in New Mexico offered the perfect launch platform and a billion stars to capture:

Stars - VLA - blog

Finally, my home city of Copenhagen in Denmark has more bland and less dramatic weather but is occasionally still home to fantastic clouds. I present an oldie from 2006, a sunset in late autumn. I remember this day well, stressed out from my then fulltime IT job I sat fatigued and zombie-like at Lake Peblinge observing a forthcoming sunset seemingly holding few promises. It was bone-rattling cold, and I felt like going home. Slowly this ‘spine’ of clouds formed and lit up like in a dream. The sky was a burning lava magenta for about 20 minutes and I have never again witnessed anything like it here. On this day, Copenhagen was a tropical town and I promise this is what it looked like:

Fiery sunset Lake Peblinge -blog

Cloudcatcher. Stargazer. Dreamer. Reality?

PS. Two awesome cloud videos for you fellow cloudcatchers: Joe Taylor and Edvard Brun.

Dancing in the Moonlight

“It’s caught me in it’s spotlight. It’s alright it’s alright the moonlight”. A Thin Lizzy hit although I tend to better remember the great Smashing Pumpkins cover. Be thankful that my new version – Shooting in the Moonlight – only exists by my pen (well keyboard) not my voice!

Shooting images in the Moonlight lit only by a full moon is something I wanted to do for a while. You have to get away from most light pollution (cities etc) and find yourself somewhere nice and dark so you can capture a glorious night sky featuring magical stars and a nice moonlit landscape. In April I found myself camping in the Namibian Veld (Afrikaans for bush) on a night with a full moon and wanted to experiment with Shooting in the Moonlight. This is basically what I ended up with after a few tests:

Moonlit Namibia Veld

Namibia Moonlit Veld
© Flemming Bo Jensen Photography

This is in pitch darkness lit entirely by the moon. The image itself is fairly boring but it serves as an example of how a full moon can easily light up a landscape and create a great otherworldly light along with a massive amount of beautiful stars! This image was a 25 second exposure at f/4.0 iso 1250, a full moon is bright but not exactly the burning midday sun. You do need very long exposures and high iso to capture this. A 25 second exposure is too much actually, the earth has already rotated enough to create small star trails, so a faster lens would come in very handy here.

Now that I look at the image I really should have walked up the hill and put some nice rocks close up in the foreground! My mind was frozen as it gets so cold in the veld after sunset. Ah, always great things to learn and improve on. Come next opportunity I hope to have a winning moonlit shot to show you or at least an improved one! Anyone wishing to share some moonlit shooting experiences, please do comment. Take me out to the black!

Moonlit video: For some out of this world time lapse images featuring magical stars and light, this brilliant video by Tom @ Timescapes is pure genius.