Lockdown Star Trails
After three weeks in Sweden and then lockdown your Friday’s photo makes a return! Being restricted to the house, garden and occasional trips for groceries and medical attention cuts down photo opportunities a good deal.
But I returned from Sweden with a replacement lens and tried it out last night. Here’s a little bit about the lens first. It’s the Laowa 7.5mm f/2 ultra-wide, manual focus lens for Micro Four Thirds (M43) cameras – such as my Olympus OMD. I bought it at Gotaplatsens Foto in Gothenburg on the recommendation of the knowledgeable staff there as it’s very small and light with excellent optics and at a good price for the quality you get … so they said and I think they were right.

The picture’s taken last night from our garden and it shows star trails arcing over Grahamstown. South is off the picture to the top right and north is bottom left so the centre of the picture is (more or less) looking east. It’s a fast prime lens so my base exposure was only eight seconds at ISO1600 and I took just under 600 exposures over the 52 minutes it took to watch an episode of The English Game in the living room! I was really pleased with how sharp this image is: I’ve done a little bit of post processing in Luminar to balance the colours but this is pretty much what came out of the camera.


Roddy is a self taught photographer whose first camera, a Zeiss Ikon, was bought in 1974 from a second hand dealer in Glasgow. Through the forty years since then, he's taken landscape photographs with Pentax, Olympus and FujiFilm systems for his teaching and research as a geography academic at Kenyatta and Rhodes Universities. He has always been inspired by great nature and landscape photographers such as Nick Brandt, Beth Moon, Obie Oberholzer and Hans Strand. Since taking early retirement he has been able to pursue his passion for photography, published a photobook ’Symmetry in Nature and held three solo exhibitions at the National Arts Festival, Grahamstown, South Africa. 

His landscape photography is about light: often at low angles, of forests, mist and clouds, the night sky and lightning. He prints on different media depending on the affects he wants to produce: brushed aluminium for reflecting angled light; Hahnemühle German Etching paper for soft diffusion; Ilford Metallic Gloss for vibrant night pictures.

His conceptual photography uses mirroring and merging of layers to explore patterns, motifs and the feminine in nature.