This image was taken about 200 meters from my home. My passion for photography started half a year before we moved to this small island in the Finnish south-west archipelago, while we were living in Bilbao (Basque Country). We have been living here for over six years now, and I don’t feel the need to explore any other place in the world in order to fulfill my photographic passion.
This island is infinite. Nature has showed me that the infinite elements of Nature are constantly changing to create infinite forms of beauty. My work and responsibility as an artist, as a photographer, is to deepen and nurture my sensibility in order to better serve as a medium for the messages that Nature wants me to transmit. Many times I don’t feel like the author of my images, I feel like a servant of an inspiration that comes from somewhere else. As Borges liked to write: “el autor de mis obras es desconocido” (the author of my works is unknown).
I am portraying the love and beauty of Nature in a simple, straightforward way. I feel blessed for my visions and, as a form of respect, I feel like I want to minimize the negative impact that my photography could infringe in Nature. For that reason I buy all my gear second hand, and 99% of my photography is taken in walk or bike distance from my home. I don’t use the car or flight to go to a location. But that’s just my way, and I don’t judge other photographers that don’t share this approach.
I have two small children and my own small company. Life is busy and I don’t want to push my photographic passion over the time I want to expend with my family. I always loved the images where you can see a circumpolar star trail on the picture, but he time investment one needs to create them is considerable and I don’t feel like doing that investment right now. But I am a patient person and I know the time to capture them will come. For this image I wanted to create my own personal and simplified version of the star trail.
I noticed that when I wrote “I wanted to create”, it sounds to me like I had a concept or a previsualization of this image on my mind, and that’s not exactly true. I don’t have a great imagination, but I have like an storage of intuitions of things I feel like creating, and when I am in the field one of those intuitions comes to the surface and becomes the commander of my practice on that specific moment. And that’s exactly what happened with this picture.
That night I was taking very classic images of the starry sky trough an open space on the canopy of a small forest, very close to the sea. When I was ready to move to another location I felt this subtle voice saying “wait a moment Aaron, what if…?”, and just allowed myself to flow into that intuition. I expanded the exposure time from around 30 seconds to one minute, loosened the panning knob on my tripod, press the shutter release, and started rotating the camera. The whole turn was completed in about 50 seconds, then I stopped the camera on a fixed position for the rest of the exposure. Why? just because I felt like it, no more, no less. And that intuition ended having a huge impact on the image, as you can see the starts brighter on one specific spot, and the trees creating a solid shadow.
When I reviewed the image on the screen of the camera I still noticed one more element that was completely random and unexpected: the red light. I started laughing at myself when I discovered it. Just before the beginning of the exposure, I clicked my headlamp once in order to turn it off, but I forgot that there is one last position before it is really off where a couple of tiny small red led shine. And that’s the light you can see projected on the trees. This “mistake” made the image even stronger, that’s what I call magic. And that kind of magic only shows in my practice when I allow for empty space and randomness to happen.
That’s the story of this image, I hope you enjoyed it. Sending love from the small island of Wattkast.
What do you think are the TWO most impactful features that make your image a good photograph? Don’t be shy!
I guess this is already explained in the text above. But there we go! The contrast between the “motion” of the stars and the clearly defined forest canopy. And the red light on some trees creating color contrast with the blue/purple of the sky.
If you would be able to make this photo once again, what would be the ONE thing you would like to do better or different?
As I said, the red light was a happy “mistake”. But if I would be to create this image again, I would probably spread the light a bit more.
Aarón Blanco Tejedor shared this photograph in the FRAMES Facebook Group.
Aarón Blanco Tejedor, Wattkast, Korpo, south west archipelago of Finland
Equipment and settings
Fujifilm X-T3 / Samyang 12mm f2 / Small Rig L bracket / Sirui N-3004X with Sirui K20 (everything second hand)
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