One great feature of traveling to more remote areas away from the cities is the clear skies you can get at night. The ability to see plenty of stars when the sun has gone is great. With summer approaching, the sun takes quite a while to go down so I had to wait until quite late to get a shot that I wanted. I could have waited even later but I wasn’t that committed to the shot. I wasn’t using a fast lens so, even with higher ISO, I was still using a 30 second exposure. Even at 16mm, this still shows up some motion in the stars. Ideally, I would have taken a fast wide lens but I didn’t bother renting one for the trip so this will have to do.
Tofino is a remote town. Being on the Pacific coast of Vancouver Island, it is a long way from built up areas with only Ucluelet being anywhere close and that does not provide much light pollution. Combine that with cold and clear nights and you get a fantastic view of the night sky. Stepping out of the hotel and on to the beach (keeping the light of the hotel behind you), the sky opened up in an amazing display of stars. I have been to places with great night skies but never at the time of year when the Milky Way is visible. It looked fantastic.
I had not thought about this possibility and did not travel with a tripod. I figured I had to have a go at photographing this sky. I Googled some settings for night sky photography, grabbed the camera bag and headed out on to the sand. Focus had to be set by using live view and a distant lighthouse with manual focus. I then set the camera up at 30 seconds and f/4 with a 10 second delay on the shutter trigger. Then I put the camera on the bag propping it up in the position I thought it needed to be. Live View was of no use when it was this dark. I then let the camera sit there for a while to settle. Gentle pressing of the shutter button and then wait. I got some good views of the shoreline with the stars including the lighthouse as well as a shot straight up at the sky.