Coronavirus: Clear nights skies delight photographers

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image copyrightBen Lockett / SWNS

With most people spending many hours at home, photographers are having to find new ways to express their creativity.

And with fewer aircraft in the skies, those who venture out at night to photograph the heavens no longer have to spend hours removing passing aeroplanes from their pictures.

"I usually end up spending a lot of time removing light trails caused by passing aircraft but I only had one plane to remove from these images, instead of the usual 20-30," says student Ben Lockett, from Staffordshire, who takes pictures such as the one above during his daily exercise.

The pictures are taken using a long exposure, with the apparent motion of the stars due to Earth's rotation.

Another photographer, Andrew Whyte, says: "On Friday night, I continued to observe the lockdown and didn't even cross the threshold of my front door."

image copyrightAndrew Whyte / SWNS
image captionPassing satellites caused the straight lines in this shot, taken in Hampshire

"At a time when there'd usually be a steady passage of friends and couples on their way home from the pub or taxis dropping off partygoers, I saw a single person out for a walk and no cars at all.

"I was further relieved when it came to processing the shot, because the sky was empty of planes."

image copyrightAndrew Whyte / SWNS
image captionThis picture, taken before the reduction in air traffic, shows how aircraft usually appear in night-time shots

Photographer Jon Mills believes the pictures perfectly capture the incredible times the world is experiencing.

He says: "While those on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic are ever in our thoughts, many of us will spend weeks or even months shut in our homes.

image copyrightJon Mills / SWNS
image captionThree small meteors can be seen in this shot, taken in Portishead, North Somerset

"The extraordinary nature of this situation is giving us a unique opportunity to enjoy the incredible beauty that is all around us."

image copyrightBrian Johns / SWNS
image captionThis was taken next to Miserden Lake, on the Miserden Estate, at the village of Miserden, near Stroud, Gloucestershire
image copyrightNick Lucas / SWNS
image captionA number of small meteors can be seen in this shot, taken over Ringwood, Hampshire
image copyrightJawad Saleem / SWNS
image captionThis was taken in Highams Park, north-east London
image copyrightAndrew Fusek Peters / SWNS
image captionThis was taken from inside a house in Shropshire
image copyrightNick Jackson / SWNS
image captionThis was taken in Shropshire

All photographs subject to copyright