Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star Trails

In the first from the Kimberley Tour, here’s an image of Mitchell Falls with star trails under bright moonlight!

I’ll be talking more about the fantastic tour over time, but with limited time to process images I wanted to get something out there :)

This image was taken at about midnight on the 3rd July, after Ken and I trekked back to Mitchell Falls under moonlight (a 1.5 hour walk with 2 river crossings) to photograph the falls at night and to also catch the first light in the morning before the group headed off to Bell Gorge.

The Moon was practically overhead and was only 2 days from full, so the falls lit up light daylight using a long exposure.

Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star Trails

Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star Trails

We ‘slept’ on the rock ledge overlooking the falls, but it got so cold at around 3am that it was too hard to sleep. The rock ledge had lost all its warmth from the day’s sunlight, the cold wind picked up, and I hadn’t prepared for the cold and didn’t have a sleeping bag.

The foreground is a single 25s exposure with the Canon 5D Mk II and Samyang 14mm lens @ ISO2500, f/2.8. The sky is 3 lots of 15 minute exposures stacked (45 minutes total), with each exposure @ ISO200, f/9.

A timelapse from the night can be seen here: Mitchell Falls Moonlit Timelapse.

More to come in the next few days!

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14 responses to “Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star Trails”

  1. Jason says:

    Hi Mike,

    What can i say, great effort to get there and great photo.

    (i liked reading the story behind the photo)


  2. Sue says:

    Very Beautiful… Well worth the trek, the cold hard rock, and the river crossings! Can’t wait to see more!

  3. Trevor says:

    Awesome photos.

    You mentioned group… did you do a package trip or a group of friends?
    Either way I’m keen to know more.


  4. […] the falls without the harsh shadows we had during the daylight shoot the day before, and the moonlit shoot the night […]

  5. […] wider scene, thanks to the full frame sensor of the Canon 5D Mk II, as well as a wider angle lens. Mitchell Falls Star Trails at Night. Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star […]

  6. alfred says:

    Have you used any filters in this session?

  7. […] The only time you’d stop the lens down or use a lower ISO, is if you’re purposely going for longer exposures to do a star trails image. In that case, you might stop down to f/8 with a lower ISO like 200 or 400, and capture exposures of several minutes at a time, like I did for these images of Star Trails at the Bungle Bungles and Moonlit Mitchell Falls Star Trails. […]

  8. […] De foto is gemaakt met persoonlijke toestemming van Mike Salway. Bron: Mike Salway. […]

  9. matilde says:

    Dear Mr. Salway,
    I can’t understand why stars actually orbit so many different points.
    To say one, the thick and long trail on the left is a part of a circumference whose center is nearly out of the picture.

    Matilde – Italy

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