Rising from the Ashes
The National Parks in this country are one of the best treasures to preserve and protect. The rewards they offer are boundless. And one of these rewards that they offer is some of the darkest night skies around.
As a photographer, as soon as I encounter a night sky, my mind starts pondering over composition details, including finding the Pole Star, the Milky Way and identifying constellations, as well as calculating correct exposure lengths for both star trails and night-sky time-lapses.
But as a human being, I sometimes just step back and stand in amazement at the kaleidoscope of stars that come out in such a dark sky. I have lost many such nights out in the wilderness gaping in awe at this starry starry sky, trying to trace out intricate details and patterns, catching the fleeting moment of glory of a bright meteor and tracking satellites as they fade in and out of existence.
And once I get sight of the Milky Way rising out of the horizon like a Phoenix from the Ashes, I get completely lost in just admiring the sheer majesty of our parent galaxy, especially its bright center. It strongly defines our miniscule place in the mighty Universe. And it is perhaps this fascination with the night sky that has created my affliction towards science fiction novels and space operas!
This was the night sky in North Cascades National Park, looking west towards the glow of the sky over Seattle while the Milky Way rises over it. Shot it with a wide angle lens for 30s at F2.8, ISO 2000
North Cascades National Park