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13th October 2009

YAT ROCK BY STARLIGHT........................

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There cannot be many local people who have not seen the stunning views from Yat Rock. Every year, thousands of people come from all around the world to visit the view point and admire the beautiful views across the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and beyond. Not many of these visitors however will have seen those special views, which do not appear until after darkness has fallen.

Recently I have spent a lot of time at the top of Yat Rock, sometimes completely alone and at other times with family and friends, whilst shooting scenes for my series of Wye Valley and Forest of Dean films. At night the views from Yat Rock change dramatically. On a clear night you can see much further than the usual Horseshoe bend in the River Wye and the Forest of Dean - you can see millions of light years - right into the heart of the Milky Way and beyond.


Yat Rock affords stunning views over the counties of Herefordshire, Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire during the day but after sunset, under the dark skies of the Forest of Dean, these views are extended by light years. The Milky Way rises and the viewpoint takes on a whole new vista.

This short time lapse sequence above 'Yat Rock by Starlight' was shot over a period of four nights in October 2009 using a Nikon D90. The very wide angle shots were 30 second exposures at f2.8, ISO 3200, using the Nikon AF DX Fisheye Nikkor 10.5mm f2.8G ED lens.

The whole of the horseshoe bend as viewed from Yat Rock shortly after sunset.

In the photo above, Ross-on-Wye is directly ahead (centre), Hereford to the left and Gloucester to the right. Although they appear to be in front, due to the extremely wide angle of the lens, the stars at the top centre of the photo are actually directly overhead at Yat Rock. If you look closely at the constellations, the Plough can be seen immediately above Hereford, Polaris just above (left of centre of the photograph). The fuzzy patch top right is the Pleiades - also known as the Seven Sisters.

The above view is of the Villages of Symonds Yat East and West on a much more cloudy night.

The Milky Way rises above the viewpoint flag pole on a clear evening.

Part of the Milky Way seen through a gap in the cloud.

A full 180 degree panoramic view of the Milky Way as seen at Yat Rock view point.

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