We went camping recently, high up in the mountains, in a place where even cell phone signals don’t dare to go.

I took the opportunity to try my hand at photographing the stars in all their resplendent glory. It’s not as easy as you might think!

Even up there, there was a noticeable amount of light pollution, but holding the lens open for 30 seconds or so, I managed to get some shots in which you can see the ‘clouds’ of the Milky Way.

The stars of the Milky Way at night

The Milky Way

What happened toward the end of my shoot was the most exciting thing for me though.

I had positioned myself away from the campsite a little and had everyone in the camp switch their flashlights off so I could get the best pictures possible, but in one photo, I noticed a reddish-brown splodge in the bottom right hand corner.

A little investigation revealed that it was a tree that I’d caught the top of in my shot and the light of the fire had lit it up with an unnatural tint.

A tree in the stars?

How did that tree get there?

I’m not a huge fan of Photoshopping pictures, although some people do incredible things with the program. These shots look a little doctored though, but I assure you, they weren’t. They’re just the stars and the trees by the light of the fire, as the camera saw them

Tree lit red by the light of the campfire with stars behind

I don’t know what that star is toward the top left, but it sure is bright!

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

Focus was the hardest part. It was too dark to see the trees through the viewfinder!

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

The deep red was wonderful, but it meant the stars didn’t show so well

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

One of my favorites of the tree with the stars

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

Not all trees showed up the same, it depended on the height of the flames and the angle of the shot

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

I love the colours in this shot. The fire turned the tree a beautiful shade

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

Stunning tree with stars behind it

The stars at night and a tree lit by the fire

Red Tree on a dark night