Osoyoos photographer captures star trails as they travel – Penticton News

“I like to share it because sometimes it’s interesting to think about how small we are in in the big scheme of things. We’re just like a little speck.”

An Osoyoos photographer who’s a bit of night owl found the perfect subject for his late-night shoots — stars.

Greg Reely is well known in the area for catching beautiful nature shots and weather phenomenon, but his interest in catching astronomical observations has grown over the years.

“I moved here in 2009. And before that, I never really did any nighttime photography. But through meeting a guy in our photo club, he introduced me to it and since then I’ve been hooked,” he shared. Reely runs a local photography group in the area, which is open to new members.

“I’m always up late. I’m used to being up until one or two in the morning. So it really suits my schedule.”

Just the other night, Reely had his camera pointed towards Polaris, the North Pole Star over the Cottages in Oliver.

“The process is a bit of a long one to create the star trails…These days, what I do is I create time lapse movies and through doing that I end up with, in this case, 430 photos. It takes a photo every five seconds. “

After processing and editing the hundreds of photos, Reely will then merge them all together to create the trails.

The star trails will reflect the Earth’s rotation, or spin, around its axis, as Reely explains.

In his first photo, there’s a very faint aurora borealis giving off the green glow.

In another photo, streaks of colour can be seen as the star trails, which relate to the age of the star.

“Throughout most of a star’s life, it is burning hydrogen at its core, which creates lots of energy and thus makes it appear blue. As stars age, they run out of hydrogen to burn, decreasing the amount of energy they emit. Thus, younger stars can appear bluer while older ones appear more red, and in this way, a star’s colour can tell us something about that star’s age,” Reely shared with the photo.

As Reely continues shooting the stars, he plans to continue learning about the night sky.

“We have a couple of [photography club] members that are pretty keen on astronomy, and they could point to the sky and tell me which galaxy, which star that is. So they’ve been very helpful in just sort of educating me and some of the other members.”

Reely shared that for those interested in trying out nighttime photography, have a camera that has full manual settings for your exposure and your focus, grab the widest lens and practice focus during the day time.

Find more of Reely’s photography on his Facebook page or Instagram.