The stars in the night sky have been used for generations by African tribes to navigate and as markers for the start of the planting season.
Zimbabwe – Photo Tip

How using the stars will make you a better photographer

Photo by Frans Lemmens

Zimbabwe – Photo Tip How using the stars will make you a better photographer

The idea of taking an image of moving stars behind a baobab tree had been in my mind a long time, but was more complicated than I thought.

Frans Lemmens
Frans Lemmens Travel Photographer

First of all, I had to find a tree with the perfect shape. Second, it had to have the right position against the circle of moving stars, which meant the southern sky needed to be right behind it.

When I found the perfect tree, in the Zambezi National Park, another problem arose. I only had one chance, because I needed a moonless night with a clear sky. But I was not allowed to drive in the park after sunset, so it took a lot of begging to convince the guards. The tree was a 30-minute drive from my camp. I installed two cameras on tripods, left the shutters wide open at F2.8, fired the flash a few times and drove back to camp.

Coming back after two hours or so to pick them up, I realized why driving at night was forbidden when I nearly crashed into a hippo. Slowing down, it took me forever to get there and back – all worth it for such an amazing photo.

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Astronomers have even speculated that Great Zimbabwe was an observatory, similar to England's Stonehenge, that could predict eclipses and track solstices. Photo by Frans Lemmens / Getty Images

Frans Lemmens

Frans Lemmens

Agency
Getty Images

Astronomers have even speculated that Great Zimbabwe was an observatory, similar to England's Stonehenge, that could predict eclipses and track solstices.

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