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Mesmerizing Night Sky Photography of the Australian Outback

star trails by lake

When viewing the breathtaking images of Startrails, it is a bit difficult to reconcile the pictures with the fact that Lincoln Harrison has been taking photos for just less than two years. The Victoria, Australia-based photographer first got a camera in October of 2010, ostensibly to take pictures of items he wanted to sell on eBay.

australian outback night sky long exposure

“I wasn’t planning on getting into photography as a hobby, but a week later I had about eight lenses and all the other goodies, I couldn’t wait to get started,” Harrison related to the Huffington Post. Eventually, the 37-year-old was drawn to landscape as well as night photography, with a special interest in star trails. “I was working nightshift when I got my first camera, so on my days off there wouldn’t be much daylight left by the time I got out of bed. There’s not much else to photograph around here at night other than the stars.” Regardless of how it started, that rather unremarkable beginning has turned into quite a prolific talent behind the camera.

long exposure foreground with startrails in background

Since then, he has been frequenting the Australian outback many times a week to take pictures. An initial glance of his images shows these impressive swirls of color that look like computer generated graphics or the result of post Photoshop work. They are not; in fact, the striking images are a result of many, many hours of painstaking night-time shooting.

tree night sky long exposure

Harrison’s dramatic pictures called Startrails shot across the Australian evening sky were taken over periods of up to 15 hours. They are long exposure pictures taken over Lake Eppalock near Bendigo in Victoria, Australia. Combined with a creative zoom method and layering of two images together in post-production, Harrison achieves his spectacular cosmic photos.

long exposure star trails

They are magical worlds that mix together visuals of fantasy with the real world. A normally tranquil looking evening sky gets transformed with the outbursts of star stuff in the great Australian outback. “With no buildings for miles the sky is so clear and it’s amazing to be able to capture the beauty of the night’s sky on camera,” says Harrison. Apart from the fringe benefit of getting nice images to hang on the wall, he takes great pleasure in the activity of taking the shots, not to mention being at glorious locations under an evening sky. “I try to come up with new ideas and techniques rather than keep churning out different versions of the same basic image.”

star trails rocks

View Harrison’s Startrails here.

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Patricia Ramos the author

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.

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