I mentioned in my last post that Joshua Tree National Park was a pit stop along the way to Death Valley. I really wanted to do some night photography at Arch Rock. Back in 1996, I spent a spring break in college here and visited many of the main attractions, but if I visited the arch, I simply could not recall. Damn memory loss!
Kendra and I pulled into camp, and quickly found a spot. I was nervous that a campground with only 15 sites and no reservation system might be full. We were in luck.
Now, the arch is a whopping 0.5 miles from the campground, even closer in some spots. Needless to say, there was a steady stream of visitors during the day. I took the time to simply see how the arch looked through my fisheye lens vs. my ultrawide zoom. I really liked the way the distortion of the fisheye lens accentuated the curves of the arch, and since that lens almost never gets used on dry land, I went with it.
As the moon rose, I got low to the ground and positioned my camera to capture the moon as it got pinched between the arch adn the rock below which helped create the burst. I tried lots of settings, and as this was my first time trying such a style of photography, I can't honestly say ISO 800 was the best choice. The D300 is ok at this ISO, but some liberal noise reduction on the sky was used.
I really wished we had more time to spend in Joshua Tree. There are a myriad of huge boulder outcroppings which would make for amazing subjects, both for sunsets, sunrises, and night photography.
Tokina 10-17mm fisheye @ 10mm
30sec @ f8, ISO 800
light painted with red LED flashlight, No HDR