Polaris, All Night Long: Eastern Oregon
View in LARGE format.
The title is a bit of a misnomer, but I was up a lot of the night dealing with this setup, and who can't resist titling a photo the same as a Lionel Richie song?! Earlier in the night, I shot this photograph.
The photo you see here is about 3 hours worth of exposure, comprised of 24 individual, 7-minute exposures stacked on top of each other, plus a shot for noise reduction and a shot with a brighter foreground.
This center star is Polaris, the North Star, and all the others appear to be spinning around it, but are not. The circles are caused by the Earth's rotation, and Polaris is almost directly on that axis. I started this image around 2am, and finished before the sunrise. I shot about 39 images total, but the images closer to sunrise were too bright to use.
The orange light you see is the light from Monument, Oregon, which is a very small town in the middle of nowhere. The blue light you see to the right is actually the first sign of sunrise coming from the mountains to the east. In the large version, you can also see a streak across the lower half of the sky, which I believe is a satellite (or a shooting star?). The trees are all juniper trees, and you can see some native grasses mixed in with something I can't remember the name of it at the moment...
The lower-left part of the sky has weaker startrails because some clouds came in and obstructed the view for part of the exposure time. You can also see the distortion caused by my 17mm lens, and I left that uncorrected on purpose.
Flickr Explore #2 05/19/2010
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 17-40L @17mm
24 individual 7minute exposures @ F4
+ 1 light-painted foreground exposure
+ 1 noise reduction exposure