Photography is one of the main hobbies here at Halley, but as the light fades more and more it becomes challenging. However, with perseverance the results can be spectacular.
Timing is important, not only in the correct exposure for your shots but also the orientation of the stars and the weather being right.
This shot took several attempts, some shots were obstructed by fog, some shots the aurora was so intense you couldn't see the stars! In the end this shot was taken on a bit of a whim, early in the morning before work. It's actually two photographs, merged together to get the detail in the Milky Way and the correct exposure for the modules.
Of course when the aurora is putting on a display you have to get out no matter how cold it is. The picture below shows the wintering team out in force even though it's -40°C with a 10 knot wind making it -50°C with wind chill.
Sometimes one photo just isn't enough. I've recently been doing some timelapse photography using a battery box that I made. This battery box consists of four high capacity 12V batteries, which is connected to a voltage regulation circuit that I put together with the help of one of our electronic engineers, Ross. This regulates the voltage down to 9V which I can connect directly to my Nikon D7100 and D750 cameras via a connector I installed in the battery grip.
Once set up, the camera can last for hours and once processed the end result is superb. I can't wait to get more footage.
Recently we've been trying photography though a telescope. The initial results haven't been great, and as the temperature gets colder operating the telescope is almost painful touching metal at -35°C with just thin gloves on. With more practice I'm sure we'll get some good results.