I very much enjoy shooting at night, because it is a peaceful time, because I love the stars and other celestial bodies, and because when I started doing it back in 2003 it was something different. Well, thousands do it now, but I won't stop just because of that! I usually do night photography in northern climes, most often in the fall, when skies are dark, and the air is cool and clear. Trying to take photos of the stars in the tropics.. this really was something new for me. It was warm and sticky, and warm camera sensors produce more noise than cool ones. There was also a lot of light pollution from the hotels and resorts behind me. But I had to try, especially in the hopes that I would also capture a lightning strike or two from the thunderstorms offshore.
This was the result.. at least, after some fairly heavy tinkering to get rid of noise and haze. What surprised me immediately when I saw this shot for the first time was that I had captured the swirl of star trails around Polaris, the north star, which is located just left of center in this image. Usually to get Polaris I must aim my camera very high in the sky -- this was the tropical latitude at work here, making Polaris appear far lower than I had anticipated. As you can see, I did also capture some thunderstorms in action. The bright green areas I never figured out, but probably are the result of floodlights from a distant hotel being projected out over the water.