As I teach myself more and more about photography, learning how to shoot the night sky was next on the list. My first time out probably could have used more preparation and foresight into how things could very quickly go sour with where I was going.
I decided on Saturday afternoon to head out to one of my favourite national parks in Queensland, Springbrook NP, and shoot from the viewpoint above Purling Brook Falls. I knew it was a relatively short walk (approx 500m) from my car to the main lookout, and that it had stunning views over the surrounding rolling mountains.
An hour and a half drive later, I arrive and hop out into the freezing cold evening. I switch on my torch, or at least attempt to. Somehow I had looked over double checking that my torch works before I left (even though I swear it was working a few days prior). No big deal! I can use my phone.
So switching on the light on my phone, without even checking how much battery I have, I head off through the pitch black rainforest find the lookout. The view from the lookout on the cloudless night was fantastic, but I admit I probably would have liked some company - I was pretty paranoid in the dark and kept my phone light on the whole time (another mistake).
About 10 photos in and feeling like I was getting the hang of things, I went to look at my phone for the time - and it switched off. Panic set in as I realised my only light source had died. How was I supposed to get back to the car? How do you see in a pitch black rainforest at night? How can I even contact anyone?
After about 2 seconds of sheer panic I think to use my camera screen as my light and decided to call the night quits from there. No more shots today, I am done. So I pack the tripod up and use the screen of my camera as my light - only shedding approx half a meter of light infront of me. Needless to say I was on edge at every sound and freezing all the way back to my car. Thankfully, I got there safely.. but here is what I have learnt / tips for everyone else (even though it would probably be common sense).
1. Check your torch before you leave
2. Check your phone battery regularly (I didn't even get any warnings?!)
3. Maybe even put it on flight mode
4. Wear gloves wow it was cold
5. Tell someone exactly where you are going, even if you think it is only going to be 400m away from your car
6. Don't do what I did
7. Bring spares.
Here is an image from my interesting night!