Perseverance always prevails in the photography world. German photographer Thomas Zimmer waited over four hours in ice cold seaside winds to capture this stunning shot of starry skies on the west coast of the German island Sylt. The photograph is appropriately titled My God, It’s Full of Stars:
But the image itself was a bit of a coincidence. Just as he was leaving—with frozen hands and an empty stomach—Zimmer took one last look back and noticed the incredible view. He knew he wanted a shot of the exquisite star trail against the beach steps, but he felt something was missing. With not a soul in sight, Zimmer resorted to using himself as his subject. Setting a self-timer, Zimmer ran to the top of the stairs and stood in place for the 30 second exposure, but he accidentally lit the stairs with his flashlight as the shutter snapped. The result is an ethereal image that pulls the viewer’s eyes to the minuscule human silhouette dwarfed by the starlit sky.
Zimmer used a Nikon D700 with a 17-35mm f/2.8 Nikor lens, 30 second shutter speed, f/2.8, ISO 6400. Contrary to popular belief, there were no fancy post processing tricks involved—just some basic color temperature and saturation adjustments, noise reduction, exposure and curves adjustments, and minimal dodging and burning to bring out the stars.
“There is no special Photoshop magic in it. It’s a photo, nothing else. Maybe a good one. The raw file looks pretty much the same. You can go out and do something similar. Maybe tonight is a good time for you to start? Go out, shoot.”
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