In arriving at the mission this trip I discovered they had added a high intensity light behind the monument. At first glance I thought this would further complicate the scene and change the mood of the composition. I decided I would make an exposure metering on the brightly lit bricks inside the windows and handhold my flash firing it during my exposure. I also turned my flash head to the portrait position to fill more lengthwise. I then took 27 images to generate the star trails merged them together and added my first exposure on top using layer mask in Photoshop brushed away the unwanted sky. I planned short star arcs so as not to distract too much from the monument. 1D Mark III on tripod w/24-70 f/2.8 set at 40 mm and 580 EXII flash set at 1/2 power and triggered manually at camera distance, camera left. Overcoming light pollution at this location is a real challenge and reduced the number of visible stars greatly. There was also better than a 1/4 moon so that didn't help the light problem either. This image is the effort of five trips to location, with some failures due to incoming unpredicted bad weather. The flash exposure setting; ISO 200, 8 sec, f/8 w/flash at 1/2 power and the star trails; ISO 200, 120 sec, f/5.6.
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