Get Out of Town…is always the best information that someone can give you when you hope to photograph the night sky unless of course you want to do some color correction in Photoshop.
This image was photographed at f-16 during a time exposure that lasted thirty minutes.
The gold cast that you see in the sky is from the ambient city lights of Fishkill, Beacon and Newburgh on the westside of the Hudson River.
Automobile lights can be fun to experiment with at night.
You can use them as a focal point as they trail off into the distance or you can use them to highlight areas of your image as in the image below.
Don’t let yourself be limited by the light source, grab anything from a flashlight to a small string of battery operated Christmas lights and experiment.
It’s a wonderful time to take advantage of the full moon nights that come with the winter months.
I must admit that it is a bit more wonderful if you’re working in the high desert of the Mojave or the lower desert floor near Joshua Tree National Park rather than New York’s six degree snow covered forest floor.
Never-the-less a time to experiment with long time exposures and maybe a small strobe to help nature’s ambient light.
A reminder that it is best to have a central subject, tree, rock, person along with your tripod, cable release and a kitchen timer works great to keep track of your exposure; small piece of plastic if standing in the snow.
Light your subject a little warmer and let the strobe feather off.
The above image is a sixteen minute exposure while popping a strobe full power on the large tree and half power each on the tree limbs and the back rock wall.
Find a good chunk of night sky and play with the star trails.