The pictures were taken in Mimasaka City by Trevor Williams of Tdub Photo. The long-exposure images depict stars whirling in a circular motion in the blue night sky above the vibrant orange Buddhist temple below. Dating back to 1285, the building features a three-story pagoda that stands at 22.7 metres high. Originally built on a mountain in Niigata, the structure went through a series of repairs throughout its history before being granted special protection from the government and being moved to the current location in Okayama in 1955.
“The conditions that night were perfect for shooting star trails. The moon was at half and in the sky at just the right time. This provided some ambient light to the temple and surrounding garden, and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was around zero degrees, so some disposable hand warmers were wrapped around the camera lenses to keep them from fogging and potentially freezing over,” photographer Trevor Williams told Lonely Planet Travel News. Each of the shots took about 20 – 40 minutes to expose, with the camera’s shutter being left open during that period to record the movement of the earth. More of Tdub’s work is available to view on their website.