Forever In Paradise
Sure, I may love capturing the night skies with my camera. But I also love to just lay down and look up at the sky so I can really take it in. And when I get the chance to visit a high mountain location like this, I find I love the sounds almost as much as the sights. It's certainly a treat that makes me feel like I'm not just seeing nature, I'm feeling it.
This image is the result of long project (years and years, yada yada) that shows off the wonders of the night in a way I'd not seen before. It slows me down and helps me to think about how a sense of place works together with a sense of time. In many ways, this is true paradise but it won't stay that way without our help in treasuring and protecting our public lands. I hope you'll join me in this effort so all of us (and our kids) can enjoy paradise forever!
How I Got The Shot
I'm a big fan of fast in & out processing so I can focus on the creative side. I like processing that takes 5 minutes (when possible). This project however was the opposite. Having started in 2012 with a couple efforts using software that extended star trails, I dreamed of someday using a more purist approach where I shot with 3 cameras simultaneously. In making this happen, I used the last of the light from a setting moon to shoot a good quality foreground before shooting a sequence of shorter exposures after the moon set.
In processing, I did my raw processing, comet-like start trail processing, and blending of each of the three camera perspectives so I had a processed left, right, and center view. I then did a little trick with PTGui that allows me to stitch together the processed images including star trails by using the short duration images for alignment. I used PTGui to stitch my first short exposures together. Then after aligning these short exposures with stars appearing as points of light, I saved the project, and swapped the source images with the blended images I just processed. Then without re-aligning, I exported a stitched result.
Photo Gear (3 identical setups)
• Camera Body - Sony A7RIII
• Camera Lens - Sigma 14mm f/1.8 Art
• Tripod Head - Acratech GP Ballhead with Lever Clamp
• Tripod Legs - Feisol Elite CT-3472 Rapid Tripod Legs
Exposure Settings - low iso long exposure (shot before the moon set for the foreground)
• ISO: 1600
• Aperture: f/4.0
• Shutter Speed: 1030 seconds
Exposure Settings - short exposures
• ISO: 6400
• Aperture: f/2.8
• Shutter Speed: 30 seconds
June 19th, 2019
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