About

Liverpool-born, Bridport-based Stephen Banks has been photographing the night skies of Dorset since the winter of 2011/12

Stephen moved to West Dorset in 2010 and was immediately struck by the clarity of the night sky in this part of the UK. Soon, he had created two time-lapse films, Bridport by Night and, later, Dorset by Night.

Time-lapse films

Bridport by Night

Dorset by Night

Bridport by Night is a love letter to the place I now call home. Bridport is a beautiful place, its people are welcoming, and its night skies spectacular. Created over three months over the winter of 2011/12, this video sparked an addiction to time-lapse photography and, later, landscape astrophotography.

A technically more accomplished piece, Dorset by Night was created for the 2012 Spirit of Bridport Festival of Culture event. It was originally intended to be a collaborative project, but owing to time constraints, it became a solo piece, with music from fellow Bridport resident Douglas Dare.

Astrophotography

After a brief spell of stacking stills from the Bridport by Night and Dorset by Night films, to create star trails, I focused on single still images, eventually leading to my current obsession with the Milky Way.

In 2013, two of the Durdle Door images I submitted to Astronomy Photographer of the Year were used as poster boys for the competition and subsequent promotional material. ‘Archway to Heaven’ (pictured right/below) is the cover image of that year’s collection book, and the 2015 calendar, as well as being the centre spread of The Guardian on 31st July 2013.

Other accolades and achievements include a number of published astrophotography articles in national photography magazines, the cover image of Trinity House’s 2014 calendar (in the year they celebrated their 500th year) and a feature on the first episode of the second series of ITV’s popular Harbour Lives programme.

Archway to Heaven - Durdle Door at night