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High Desert Nightscape: Monument, Oregon

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This is a shot of the North Star, Polaris, as the earth spins during one night in April in Eastern Oregon.

 

This shot is made from 24 individual, 7 minute, consecutive exposures; a total of about 2hr & 34min of startrails. I took these exposures, along with one completely black shot for noise reduction and one shot that I light-painted the foreground, and combined them all into one shot to achieve the effect of one, long exposure. I began this at around 10:30 at night, and was able to shoot two different compositions between 10:30 pm and 5:30 am. Needless to say, it wasn't a night that I achieved stage 3 or REM sleep. I did sleep, but with a few different alarms in the middle to notify me when to check the camera and stop the exposures.

 

I was amazed to see any light at all coming from the small town of Monument, Oregon in these photos. This is a town with a population of 150 people, and it is over 5 miles away from this location. It is amazing what a 7-min exposure can pick up at ISO 400.

 

Thanks for viewing, and I really appreciate any feedback and criticism you may have. Oh, and I shot this on a mountain, so that is why the horizon rises to the right!

 

Okay, I just learned something else... the average distance between each star in our galaxy is 30 TRILLION MILES! That is pretty difficult to wrap your head around, eh?

 

Flickr Explore #1 04/23/10

 

Canon 5D Mark II

Canon 17-40L @17mm

22 individual 7minute exposures @ F4

+ 1 light-painted foreground exposure

+ 1 noise reduction exposure

No filters

ISO 400

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Taken on April 16, 2010