May 2023

Stars in our Eyes


Stars in our Eyes

With our Canon cameras in hand a talented young photographer and I decided to try our hand at doing star trail photographs. We set up just before sunset, with our cameras on tripods and switched off all artificial light sources. About an hour later, after our long time exposures had finished, we tried a few other star shots, and while doing so I scanned with the torch to see if any predator eyes showed. (Our vehicle was right next to us.) Way in the distance green eyes reflected, but even with the binoculars it was too far to tell what animal it was.

About 10 minutes later I checked again, and announced, “Ah! Those green eyes are a leopard.” He was standing fairly nearby with that curious cat expression on his face. We levitated into the vehicle scooping up all our camera gear, and fervently wished he wouldn’t disappear. Spinning our shutter speeds from 30 seconds to 1/40th of a second we managed to snap his portrait in the warm glow of the headlights. He was relaxed, curious, and then he’d decided he’s seen enough of our antics and casually strolled off into the night.

What an incredible evening that was! We spend so much time and energy searching for leopards, so to have one come and find us, and lie down to watch us, was such a bonus.

This is the star trail result, photographed by Scott Wenham.

By Jenny Hishin
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