Matt Duke's picture

Lone Tree Vortex

July 13, 2019

Ever seen the stars from the Australian Outback? On a clear night, you can visibly see the Milky Way and countless satellites, planes and even some planets!

This photograph was taken on a recent trip to Central Australia and just outside of the Yulara Resort. The photograph is a 30-minute exposure (meaning I stood there for 30 minutes between shots with the shutter open!) – the end result is a clear tree and the rotation of the earth is represented by the star trails. The Milky Way was behind the tree and is the whiter part of the stars just right of the center.

There wasn’t any direct light in the area, but there were a few street lights about 500 meters away, which adds a nice warmth to the grass in the distance.

This is one of my favorite images at the moment as I was super happy with the shot. It was around 1am that it was taken, and after a couple of test shots prior and a 15-minute exposure, I knew I needed to go for longer, but was also freezing cold and tired after a massive day of shooting. But this tree and composition was just what I was after.

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EUGENE CAASI's picture


Matt Duke's picture

Thank you!

Ozer Giray's picture

Awesome - 5 stars shot. How did you avoid hot pixels.

Matt Duke's picture

Thanks so much. Shot with ISO 100 and Canon 5dMKIV did a great job. Only minor clean up required in PS.