Wise Tent on the Mountain
Entry for Astronomy Photographer of the Year:
Single exposure. Tent lit by lantern.
Larch Mountain, Oregon, USA
*sigh of relief*
I was getting some serious star-starved antsy-ness the last few weeks. It was getting too long since I'd been out under the stars with a camera. Got me all grumpy and agitated. Lately it's seemed bad weather on weekends, but clear nights on weekdays. When I wake up early for work, I notice the stars out above me on my walk to the car. It's a moving sight, but usually it just gets me more annoyed that the stars are giving me a teasing kiss goodbye as they go to bed and I go to work.
Oregon weather has changed. Sadly, for the worse. Summer is for sure over, and Winter clouds and weather has moved in and will be our neighbor till about June. So, clear nights like these are going to become a rare and valued commodity. I thought this night was going to be a bust because of passing clouds, but finally, a few hours into the evening, the sky opened up and the stars came out to stay.
It has been an emotionally heavy weekend here for the home team. Lots going on our side of the computer screen. But, last night, there were a few moments that the magic of the evening really sunk in. It was chilly, but I came dressed in layers, so it felt comfortable. A slight breeze would lift up and then settle down. The mountain top was silent. The only noise an occasional train blowing it's warning horn far away, or Miles Morgan flying his airplanes occasionally above. But even those sources took on a soothing note, and as I looked out over the forested landscape- illuminated by the Moon behind me- a sleep-deprived peace blew in and out with the breeze. It was special. Taking pictures was less and less a priority as I completely zoned out away from my camera, continually waking up from a trance of just staring out into the Moonlit night.
Ironically, shooting this scene took on less of an epic, mountain top adventure feeling; but instead it had a seemed more like a treasured visit to the Wise Man on the mountain. After many Summer months chasing the Milky Way in completely dark, Moonless night skies- this evening was truly a needed treat.
So, thank you Stars. I may see you tomorrow morning twinkling goodbye to me while I walk to my car, but sipping my coffee, I'll give you a sincere happy wave, thinking about the weekend we had together.
**Edit- Great! This made it to Flickrblog. Thanks all for coming to take a look.
If you are interested in doing shots of stars, but don't know where to begin- find my website listed on my profile- then on the website click on the "Tutorial" link
Thanks everyone for the great response :-)