Picture gives Royal Victoria Hospital a beautiful backdrop

Royal Victoria Hospital in Netley

Stonehenge and the stars

First published in News

It’s an amazing photograph of one of Hampshire’s best-known landmarks captured as you’ve never seen it before.

The historic hospital chapel at Netley is all that remains of the Royal Victoria Hospital but it can never have looked so spectacular in all its 157 years.

It is one of a collection of pictures taken by a Hampshire photographer showing the Milky Way and stunning star trails taken around the country.

David Sharp spends countless hours observing the night skies and patiently waiting for the perfect shots.

He dedicates much of his spare time to researching the Milky Way galaxy in order to give himself the best opportunity to see it.

His favourite locations to take astronomy pictures are on the south coast as the conditions tend to be better.

David has enjoyed taking pictures of the Milky Way above Stonehenge in Wiltshire because of ancient astronomy links.

He has also travelled to St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall for photo opportunities.

The IT project manager, who regards photography as a hobby, spends up to four hours into the early hours of the morning taking pictures of the sky.

He says there is a very narrow window available to get shots of the Milky Way so he was pleased to capture them.

David, 50, said: “In the UK the Milky Way can only be seen in summer, between May and August.

“The optimum time frame to shoot it is between 12.30am and 2.30am, before it gets too light.

“And even then you can only really see it in the dark moon phase – a week either side of a full moon.

“What’s more, the skies have to be crystal clear to allow for good shots – which all makes for a very narrow window of opportunity.

“It’s a very spectacular sight, especially when you see it with the naked eye – and I like the challenge of seeing it in the UK.

“The best location for me has to be at St Michael’s Mount, but it was nice to get some at Stonehenge too with its historic link to astronomy.”

He also created a marvellous selection of star trails – made by collating hours of photos to show the apparent motion of stars.

David, from Portsmouth, added: “My star trail photos tend to be the result of about four hours of photography and what you’re seeing is the earth’s rotation.

“Normally I will finish up shooting at about 1am.

Astronomy photography takes dedication and a lot of research beforehand, and luck comes into play too.”

Comments (2)

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1:47pm Mon 22 Jul 13

justanotherview says...

Hmmmm. I appreciate this gentleman's skill and knowledge very much.

But from an artistic point of view, this effect can be created in Photoshop or CorelDraw in just a minute or two. For those who think I am a "know-it-all" pretending to have knowledge, in CorelDraw, which I have been using for 16 years, import a picture of stars, select "Bitmaps", go to Blur, select Radial Blur and apply, and also experiment with the other filters available there.
Hmmmm. I appreciate this gentleman's skill and knowledge very much. But from an artistic point of view, this effect can be created in Photoshop or CorelDraw in just a minute or two. For those who think I am a "know-it-all" pretending to have knowledge, in CorelDraw, which I have been using for 16 years, import a picture of stars, select "Bitmaps", go to Blur, select Radial Blur and apply, and also experiment with the other filters available there. justanotherview
  • Score: 0

6:27pm Mon 22 Jul 13

Norwegian Saint says...

But Bucks Fizz said the camera never lies... it must be true???
But Bucks Fizz said the camera never lies... it must be true??? Norwegian Saint
  • Score: 0

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