Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail Photo of snowy Sussex woodland trail

Stunning Natural Navigation Image

A big thank you to James of James Walker Photography for his kind permission to reproduce this image from Umbria, Italy.

I have come across very few images that capture the spirit of natural navigation so well. It is, to use the technical photographic vernacular, ‘a beauty’.

Which way are we looking? 10 points for getting it right.

And what do points make?

Stardust.. or not very much, depending on your mood.

I’ll add the answer as an update before Orion grows high in the sky.

Update: (Spoiler Warning, here comes the answer…)

We are facing north (a few degrees to the west of north). In the bottom left of the picture you can see the seven stars that make up the Plough/Big Dipper/Saucepan. The high central star that is the only one not showing any movement is the North Star, Polaris.

If you’d like a tougher challenge, try this one.

Some technical notes from James for budding photographers:

The image was taken on a mountain above Castellucio at 1600m. The exposure was 40mins at F8 (400 iso) using a 17mm lens. Before taking this picture I first worked out the correct exposure for the tent which is lit by a LED torch. This only needed a two minute exposure in order to get the glowing light.

The camera was set up on the tripod and once the exposure had reached the the two minute duration, I switched off the light and went to sleep, leaving the camera to record the beautiful night sky.

Would I swap a night in my tent for a bed in a five star hotel?…..I think not!

James Walker is available for expedition photography and other professional assignments. Check out his pictures, they’re beautiful.